How to Develop Your Company’s Vision: Business Visioneering (Part 1)
The quality and practical implementation of your business vision differentiates you from your competitors.
“The only thing worse than being blind, is having sight and no vision.” — Helen Keller.
Think about the insights/wisdom of a unique woman denied sight and hearing but blessed with great vision of what she could accomplish. If she were positive, worked hard, believed in herself, had the right teacher/coach/tutor (Ann Sullivan) at the right time, and remained committed, her vision would become a reality. The rest of the story, as they say, is history. What will be your history?
The quality and practical implementation of your business vision differentiates you from your competitors. It is what motivates and gels your team. It is what drives customer loyalty. It is what will often close competitive business deals.
It is what drives people to join your company. It is what drives, enables and motivates your team to separate themselves from your competition in every way, every day, with every customer interaction in real-time.
Call it company performance “culture.” It absolutely drives daily decisions by talented hires who “see” and “feel” the words of your vision at a visceral level. How is “visioneering” accomplished?
Visioneering is both the art and science of creating a short, engaging story about your company. A story that your customers tell without any prompting; a chance to help inform their friends of a wonderful experience. A story your associates believe and breathe every day and focused on the customer’s experience and perception, with one exception.
In today’s work world, people choose to join or stay with your company based on the roles they see for themselves within that vision story. This can be particularly important to your technicians.
Do you have levels of progression, pay and training based on initiative? What about your sales teams which can have vastly distinct roles such as territorial residential, commercial, or strategic selling? All require different selling skills, expectations and training to be successful. Does your business vision helps establish these parameters? Your choice.
Keep in mind to focus your vision on the “what;” “where you want to be;” and “when you want to get there.” The “how” is the job of your managers and their teams. Try and stay out of their way.
“What I am looking for is not ‘out there,’ it is in me.” — Helen Keller
Consider the two biggest challenges for executives on their “vision quest.”
Committing to do it. Then blocking out time every week to work on the vision and holding themselves accountable to a 30-day deadline. The next hardest thing … just getting started.
Some artistic guidance may help your thinking — check out my November 2019 column and pick up your paintbrushes!
Here are a few coaching points to enable your progress.
The key element is having company ownership commit to working on the business and not in the business. Carve out the time, take off your operational hat and put on your thinking top hat!
I realize this is difficult, however, it is essential for long-term progress and for all the right reasons. Three factors to think about.
- Schedule 45 minutes every single week to think about your business direction. This must be uninterrupted time. No emails or phone calls and be unavailable for those immediate problems you must solve as the key firefighter. As a discipline for success, do this out of the office, the same time every week.
- Schedule 10 minutes per week with your departmental leaders and share two thoughts for five minutes; then five minutes of clarification; then let them go and create. Have them share thoughts the following week. Don’t judge. Just listen, digest and evaluate their input. Be disciplined in this rule or you will become lost in the minutia of details and slide down unproductive rabbit holes.
- Engage with troops in the trenches by wandering around with purpose. This is not a time to expound on your thinking, but a time to ask a relevant question then actively listening to feedback. No counter arguments allowed. Just listen, acknowledge and thank your troops. This is the most important trait of successful leaders.
Digest, process, ask more questions, then craft and edit your vision with purpose. I will cover more next month to help you effectively communicate your vision.
“While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.” — Helen Keller.
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