Your vision is the picture of your preferred future. Establishing the right vision for your company is the first of six critical ‘getting it right’ steps to achieve great accountability. Establishing the vision draws a clear picture that empowers a team to make decisions and act in a cohesive manner. The vision is tightly aligned with one’s mission and core values. Glen Smith of Houston defines mission as the reason you exist and core values as one’s guiding principles.
Why define a vision?
The whole purpose of the vision is to empower your team to make decisions. Of course, the vision is not sufficient by itself; there are many other issues for empowerment and accountability. It is the place, however, to start to create the picture of the destination that will guide decisions for the steps along the journey.
How does a team create a shared vision?
While a leader can certainly write and share a vision individually, it is recommended to take time to include as much of your team as possible in the process of creating a vision. For small companies, this may involve 100% of the staff, while larger companies may be restricted to a smaller portion of the entire organization. Regardless of how much participation is included to create the vision, everyone must be involved in knowing and acting upon the vision, once it is defined. When the vision is firmly established, many companies use it to screen and select new staff to ensure a good fit with the company.
The process should take 30-90 days to collect input from everyone involved. Start by creating a set of questions that elicit
- core values,
- unique offerings to your clients and community,
- the type of company that you desire to be,
- the manner in which you work and
- benefits to the staff of working in such a company.
If possible, research other great companies to understand their vision and how they use it to drive their success. Hiring a consultant that specializes in facilitating the vision-creation process often helps to accomplish greater participation and frank dialog.
What should the vision include?
The process of creating the vision needs conclude with a written document that can be shared and reviewed. Include these four sections to provide clarity to the team as they build an accountability culture for success.
- Summary – In your first paragraph write 2-3 sentences. Characterize your clients and define how you help them. Describe your team, how you work and your values. Finish with a summary of your approach to work.
- Describe the future – Narrate a work day in the future when the vision is realized. Include the accomplishments of the team, the benefits to your clients and the manner in which you work.
- Gifts – List the gifts and rewards that result when your company fulfills the vision.
- Key points – Illuminate the critical things that the team must remember and do in order to accomplish the vision.
In addition to the detailed vision, take a little extra time to create a single sentence that captures the essence of the vision that can be easily shared and remembered.