Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clear Vision Necessary to Achieve Strategic and Tactical Results

I often get calls at Innovative Management Group from companies wanting us to help them develop a vision statement for their organization. I usually respond by asking them what they mean by a vision statement.

Many companies spend a lot of man-hours and meeting time formulating a well-written vision or mission statement. They often struggle as they pointlessly and nauseatingly word-smith to ensure they have just the right inspiring statement. Then they invariably create poster-sized graphics of their vision and place the posters prominently on walls throughout the company. Or, even better, they make laminated wallet-size copies of the vision so employees can put in the back pocket and sit on the company’s strategic focus.

I’m fond of saying that “a vision on the wall is no vision at all.” Likewise, “a vision where you sit is all you'll ever get.”

If managers and employees really have a vision for a company, it won’t be on the wall or in their pocket. It will be ingrained in their heads, in their hearts, and in their guts (or, if you prefer, their intuitive senses).

A real vision is something people can understand intellectually. They can easily grasp its context and potential. They can see the future for what it is or can be, thus allowing them to place within their own hearts the desire to achieve it. Once in the heart, the vision becomes a part of who they are or who they want to be.

With the vision firmly rooted within their minds and hearts, they may not know yet how to achieve it, but their gut senses it is the right thing to do.

As an avid hiker, I know the best way to determine one's current position and the path to the desired destination is to set your coordinates through a technique called triangulation. A person is less inclined to go off course when he has three distinct reference points to guide his actions.

The tactics to achieve your company’s vision will become clear and meaningful when the people within your company share a common vision in their heads, hearts, and guts. These three intrinsic reference points provide the directional bearings that guide the actions of every manager and employee.

A company vision, therefore, is not a mere statement. It is a crystal clear view of the future that people can easily image in their heads. It is a desired end point to which one can whole-heartedly dedicate oneself. It is a conceptual end goal that feels right intuitively. And, because of these three affirmations, it is a view of the future that every person within the company can easily commit to achieving.

If you would like help developing a company vision the truly moves people, call us at 702-258-8334 or email

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