There are three stages to create alignment for a project/company. These stages are distinct and should initially happen in sequence.
The first part is visioning. Once the visioning has been completed, we can start defining the strategies needed to achieve the vision. For each strategy we then make a tactical plan on how to execute on the strategy.
Once the three stages are well understood we can use this during meetings and discussions. For instance: during a visioning meeting we avoid getting distracted by strategic or tactical discussions. Or when we find we need to change strategy we can check off if this still fits in our vision, and if not decide whether the vision needs adjusting or the strategy needs correction.
visioning clarify what the group is trying to achieve. How does the group/initiative see itself in the future? What will it be known for (in the future)? What is the image the people who know about this initiative talk about?
strategies and/or initiatives to achieve the vision. Define the order, importance, priorities and stages as part the strategies. What do we agree to achieve first? What is the scope for each stage? What do we purposefully avoid?
tactics. Structures and plan development to execute strategies within articulated strategies. What structures need to be in place? How often will we execute the strategy? How will decisions be made? How will strategies be achieved?