More than ever, uniting people in your organization around a common vision is critical to successful change and evolution in today’s rapidly changing workplace. In addition, a well-articulated vision informs your strategy, focuses your people’s efforts, strengthens decision-making and provides a needed source of inspiration.
Unfortunately, for many organizations, their vision just doesn’t connect with their staff, clients and shareholders. What people really want is a vision they can believe in, feel energized about and to which they can make a commitment.
In the case of one senior leader who I worked with recently, her company’s vision was the result of a sophisticated series of conversations with staff, board members, clients and key stakeholders using various strategies – from in-person town halls and conversational cafés to social media outreach and feedback. While it certainly had a high engagement factor during the development process, the result felt routine, bland and corporate.
So, what can you do to create a vision that incites energy and commitment from your people? Here are seven attributes that will strengthen the narrative around your vision:
1.) Consider The Context
- Ground your vision in today’s world – ensure that your company’s history, culture and values are starting points for development of your vision. Credibility is greatly enhanced when there’s a connection with the past and a recognition of current reality.
2.) Be Bold
- Effective visions should challenge your people to dream bigger about what’s possible. It needs to expand perceptions of what your organization is capable of achieving in the longer term. Continuous improvement, while worthwhile, rarely generates the energy required to motivate and inspire others.
3.) Make It Unique
- Claim something unique for your organization, ensuring it’s different from other companies in your industry and sector. Identify what will make your company stand out from your competitors and resonate with your clients and shareholders. Build on the strengths you currently possess – whether it’s related to service, innovation, product quality, cycle time, etc.
4.) Pick Your Niche
- Broad organizational visions often feel too wide-ranging and ambiguous. Why not focus on a specific aspect of your business that feels fresh or unusual (e.g., product line, suite of services, target market)? Craft your vision ‘story’ around that – it will be more visible, meaningful and exciting.
5.) Make It Worthwhile
- Leaders, especially those at the top, must do more than just communicate their company vision. They must make it real for their people by sharing how it translates into meaningful and positive change for their staff, clients and shareholders.
6.) Inject The Personal
- It’s imperative that leaders share what excites them personally about the proposed vision. Injecting their own meaning enables staff, stakeholders and clients to experience the potential energy and commitment of their leaders. Too often, leaders defer to their corporate vision when they should step up and articulate their own perspective and passion.
7.) Make It Purposeful
- Providing a sense of purpose within your vision connects people to something bigger and grander that their day-to-day work supports. Your staff, clients and stakeholders want to believe that your company stands for more than just generating profits and besting your competition. Providing purpose engages both the mind and heart in common cause.
A well-crafted and articulated vision is vital in today’s rapidly changing workplace – strive to incorporate these suggested attributes to create something that inspires, motivates and generates meaningful commitment.
To better understand how well your leaders are inspiring and motivating their teams around your organization’s vision, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-882-8830.