What is your vision for your company, your department or yourself? Now, before you think this is going to be missive full of woo-woo and incantations, I’m talking about
those common goals and compelling views of the future that help others, as well as yourself, relate to personal goals and those of the business as a whole. Such visions connect people to a common aspiration and purpose.
Many companies we visit to consult with have their visions on display, often in the reception or boardroom. But, whenever we ask how they are being applied within everyday interactions, we are often disappointed by the replies. The visions and missions are lofty aspirations, but the quality of the integration into the workplace leaves a lot to be desired.
So how can you turn the vision into reality, so it isn’t just left as a set of platitudes, dreamed up in some long-forgotten directors’ away-day?
To establish an effective strategy to make the vision work for your people, ask yourself these questions:
* What does the vision mean for what we do and the ways we behave in our part of the company?
* If it’s a centrally-located or international vision, how can we give ourselves a local sense of mission and commitment?
* What can we do on a daily basis that contributes toward achieving the vision?
* What do we do in our daily work that impedes us in achieving the vision?
* What feedback can we as a team give to management about how we can improve the application of the vision?
* How can I personally set the example to others about how to live up to the vision?
The answers to these questions require you to be prepared to commit in practical and behavioural terms to the applications of the vision. You must share the elements of the vision to all team members to make sure it really means something, and isn’t lost in the ether. You must put it across in an inspiring and motivational way, so your people want to commit to it. And you must constantly re-inforce the vision.
Make sure you involve the team in these discussions. Resist the temptation simply to tell them what they should do. To get buy-in, they must be involved in all the discussions so they really feel involved in the way forward.
The vision is the forward-looking direction the company wants to go. If it’s inspiring to others, it drives momentum and motivation. So if it’s a good vision, it’s worth investing your time into making it become reality.
Head of Training
Originally published: 27 January, 2012
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