6 Steps to Realize Your Business Vision (Business Visioneering: Part 2)
Business guru Paul Boucherle provides a simple exercise that can help you “visualize” your business vision.
Based on last month’s column, you may have decided that it’s time to update your ownership/executive/department business vision. Smart move. Your team will appreciate it.
Your ability to attract and hire new talent is often how they see themselves in your company’s vision quest. This is especially true for new technical talent, which we all so desperately need, for your company to grow and prosper. Next, a coaching moment to help guide your journey.
Before you redefine your business vision, make sure and do your homework. Specifically test your company culture to ensure it is able and willing to support your new vision. Read my October 2019 column on analyzing company culture first; it’s good insurance.
Most executives/managers struggle with the idea that their vision must be brilliant, perfect and Oscar-worthy. It does not. If you are a perfectionist, I know a little about this affliction, you will struggle choosing every word and constructing every sentence.
To heck with that, go for volume first and then edit for quality as you go. Many believe it must be a 10-year strategic plan. It does not. What is the best planning horizon?
Think in terms of a three-year segment. Focus on the steps needed in year one that will get you to years two and three. Execute those steps with ferocity. Today, just sit down and begin to write. Tomorrow, edit, refine and rewrite that vision. Rinse and repeat for a few weeks. It will get easier. Perhaps an exercise can help you “visualize” your vision.
- Envision throwing a huge party in three years at a terrific location; a country club or fancy event center. Picture stunningly great food, top-shelf drinks, wine and fancy cocktails. It’s outdoors with gorgeous weather, sunny and warm with a slight breeze. Can you picture your party? So, who will you invite?
- The top executives and senior managers who are your premier clients and drive your successful growth would be a good start. Then get bold and invite a few executives you want to do business within the near future. Your sales team can help. They may have become stuck in purchasing department purgatory or have a midlevel manager blocking their progress. Prospects mixed with happy clients is a winning combination.
- What brings them to accept this party invitation? The execution of your vision that delivers innovative ways to deliver measurable business value to them, of course!
- Is your vision practical and reasonable, and does it have a chance for success? Overly complicated visions that don’t make sense will be hard to follow and gather support. To be effective, keep your message simple and visceral.
- What tools, training, processes and coaching will enable that vision? If you have serious gaps in those commitments, your team will quickly lose steam. Focus on addressing those issues in the first 18 months.
- Are your timeframes realistic to make progress, or are you trying to boil the ocean on a slow simmer? Be ready to gain and actively listen to the feedback of why your time frames are unrealistic. Separate the long-term, big issues that will take 12 months or longer to fix from process issues that can be solved or modified in the short-term to make progress toward your vision accelerate.
The clarity of your vision must be “seen,” “felt” and “owned” by all your associates, period. If they are not committed by their actions, not words, you should encourage them to pursue another career opportunity. When rowing a boat, everyone must pull those oars equally or you will go around in circles.
“I can see for miles and miles…” The Who famously sang this song. Letting your team know where they need to row the boat through stormy weather, darkness, big waves with confidence and clear command communication of expectations, tools and training makes for a successful voyage to the island of prosperity. They serve cocktails with fancy umbrellas there, and while your techs may pretend they don’t like it … they will love it!
I have found in my military and business career if a leader is confident, has a clear, well thought-out vision with clear objectives, and trusted me enough to take them there, I will always grab the oars and row in that direction with vigor.
Having the right NCOs (noncommissioned officers) or departmental leaders that are squared away and all in … that will support your vision. Strategic vision is essential; however, tactical planning and support is what makes it happen for your troops.
Get out your binoculars and scan that horizon for your destination. Your team is waiting, Captain!
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