Visioning the Future|
By Terri L. Norvell, Business Coach & Consultant
Where do you want to go? This is a simple yet powerful question. It refers to your Vision, the company’s Vision, and articulating this answer is a critical success factor. This is part two in the success series Vision, Values and Goals discussing how you can ensure maximum effectiveness. Successful businesses who know the difference between superior performance and "business as usual" have a keen focus on the future.
What is Vision? To say you have vision, refers to the ability to see the present as it is and, on that foundation, to define a desired future. Typically a vision is specific enough to provide guidance yet vague enough to encourage initiative and flexibility under a variety of conditions. It is succinct and rooted in strong beliefs, and is an inspiration to yourself and others.
Where are you now? What is possible for both you and your company? Visioning can be used for conceiving a new reality, as a robust change process, or simply as a means of thinking through a new program or project. Use it to generate creativity and breakthrough thinking, quantum changes from the past, to inspire and energize. As the saying goes, "If you do not know where you are going, any path will do." Dynamic companies create the future they choose. Begin with the words "We are going…" or "We will…"
Aligning the Team
Your vision creates meaning and direction because it works as a glue pulling the organization together. What is important, is that your company vision evokes enthusiasm and commitment. Participating in a vision’s realization has the power to lift people out of the routine workaday world and into a new world of opportunity and challenge. A shared vision can cause a "unique rush of energy" among your team that enables accelerated performance and results.
Play a Cover Story game with your team, company division or whole organization. The focus is to brainstorm about your organization’s future. Have the group imagine itself on the cover of a well-known magazine in a future year, then design a cover story! Remember to stay focused in the "future state" and speaking in the past tense about what is in the magazine. Use your imaginations and feelings to evoke aspirations for a variety of Vision themes.
The proven success of aligning a team around a common vision can be seen in all industries. Think of Sam Walton, Walt Disney, Mary Kay Ash, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard…these leaders all set a personal example and lived the vision. A success story starts with a single thought, a dream, a focus which is carried into reality by many individuals working together. A vision is not static, rather an evolution process and as commitment grows so does its reality.
Ask your team these questions "Is this vision worthy of your commitment? Will you follow me?" Your success and your company’s future relies on your people sharing this vision. Look to see if your team understands your vision, if they can see the possibilities, if they know how they fit into the picture, and if they are motivated to action? Ongoing reinforcement messages both orally and in writing, along with "leading by example" will demonstrate that you are excited and committed to bring this new future into reality. Go for it!
Terri Norvell is a national business coach and consultant
for fast growing and entrepreneurial businesses.
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