A vision sets out your business’s direction. It’s uplifting, inspiring and often stays the same even when the strategies underpinning it change to respond to market forces.
Let’s take a look at Ikea’s: “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people – for customers, but also for our co-workers and the people who work at our suppliers.”
Short, clear and to the point.
In the last two blog posts we looked at the first steps to create a great place to work: purpose and values.
In the next, we look at sharing your vision. Where do you want to take your business? And where does your team fit into that?
The vision sits alongside those purpose and values, moving beyond day-to-day activity. It provides inspiration and helps keep your team focused on what’s essential.
Most business owners will have an idea of where they want to be in the future, many may have a mental picture of what this may look like, others may have articulated that in writing.
If you don’t have a vision already, it’s well worth engaging with your employees to help create one.
How do you create a vision?
The good news is that developing a vision is perhaps easier and less time-consuming than you might think. It starts with getting your team together for a workshop.
You’ll need clarity about what you want to achieve. For example, is this a vision for the whole organisation, or just a particular part?
What’s your timeframe? How far out in the future should you look? You’ll need to go far out enough to get beyond the issues of the day, but not so far that it’s hard to visualise getting there. Five years ahead is a great place to start.
Think about what it is that you do. What are the positives? What can you be really proud of? How does that help you achieve your vision? How do you make the world a better place?
Imagine yourselves sitting in the future and think about how to describe what you see in your mind. A good way to do this is draw of picture of what the business will look like. You and your team could do this individually or in small groups.
After the workshop
It’s time to write your vision.
And thanks to the work you’ve done with your team, you have a better idea of what that looks like, it’s then much easier to break that down into smaller steps: the goals and priorities that will help you create that path to your vision.
Make sure your vision statement is clear and written in plain English. It’ll need to be powerful, short, realistic and, fundamentally, describe the best outcome for your business.
As time goes on, you’ll need to revisit the vision, and measure your progress against it.
You also need to make sure all your team understand it and where they fit into achieving it.
Start by using some basic tools such as posting it on the company website, including it in any marketing maternials and referring to it in meetings with your team.
As a leader, you can shape the parameters for success through your vision, but remember it’s equally important to oversee its successful implementation.
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