I’ve noticed an alarming trend in the past couple years while assisting clients in formulating their strategy… There is an increasing desire to avoid “touching” the Vision and Mission statement during a strategy session, in favor of focusing on key objectives to move the business forward.
When I’ve asked why, the answer I receive typically falls into the “time and money” category. You know the one. “We don’t have the time or money to invest in re-formulating our vision.”
That’s fine (well, actually it’s not), but we should remember something. Our vision, for ourselves or our business, is what we define as a desirable future state. It’s where we want to be in the next twenty-four to forty-eight months. It’s something that reignites our passion and drive for our business.
Sure it takes time to come up with a vision that is worth getting out of bed for, and time is money. But who in the world wants to pursue a vision, the same vision in fact, for over a decade?
Hasn’t the world (and most things in it) changed?
Don’t customers expect something different than they did just a decade ago?
Aren’t employees becoming more distracted and needing something that fuels their passion?
I recommend to all my clients that their vision statement is re-visited in its entirety at least every 24 months, using the following questions:
- Why are we here? Who do we serve? What’s the value we offer?
- Where do we need to be in the next twenty-four to forty-eight months to remain relevant to our market and why?
- What do customers (new and existing) need from us in the next forty-eight months to support their growth?
- What purpose is so compelling it would make our employees jump out of bed in the morning?
- What new products or services will define our business within the next five years?
With the compiled responses from these questions, you will have the necessary ingredients to create a compelling vision… Just a little polish to make it memorable, and you’ll be set.
Don’t let your vision of your desired future become blurry. Your vision is more important than any other aspect of your strategy, as it is the beacon that shines to guide you and the organization to the future you so desire.
If that’s not compelling enough, then you can continue to beat objectives to death. If it were me, however, I’d want to make sure I was focusing my team’s time and effort on the right objectives, which ties directly back to having a relevant and powerful vision.
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© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.