Once is all it takes to realize that your business is not going where you think it should. Likewise, once is all it will take to see how successful your business can be when guided down the right path. Sounds like a cliché, and it may be in some respects; but it’s really a modest wake up call to the realities of making a smart decision for your business and its promise of a successful future.
In the next two articles I will help your organization explore some approaches for preparing a vision for your organization. A vision is much like painting an abstract of your fruitful business on a canvas for everyone to see. Before you can paint, though, there are certain preparations to be made before you can start painting.
Before we explore the process of preparing a vision for your organization, it is only fair to tell you that the senior leadership of an organization can only carry out this process. It is possible that lower level management can develop a vision for their piece of the pie, but there should only be one vision statement for an organization. All other lower level vision statements will complement the vision of the organization in unison, with links and patterns that show relationship.
On any given day, an organization can write down what they do and put it into eloquent words, and it may appear in some trade show brochures or fancy annual reports. I think that is nice, but let’s look at what and why you write a vision and some steps to help you actually carry out this monumental task.
First of all, a vision should be a profound statement that provides everyone a visualization of the future — a desired state of the organization. It should reveal a quick but masterful look into the company’s future while rolling out any challenges the organization will meet in the next five to ten years.
As a senior leader, you should already know where you want your organization to be in the future. It should be no problem to have to put it into words, right? The main question I get asked is how do I know what my organization will be capable of in the future — say five to ten years from now. Well, no one really knows; the future is dark and unknown because it’s not staring you in the face. What you should concentrate on is four aspects of getting your organization to where you expect it to go. They are the vision statement, goals, objectives, and people.