A vision will outline your destination to all those who touch your business: your team, your customers and your investors. The poster boy for creating a vision is Steve Jobs (of course). And for good reason.
According to researcher Carmine Gallo, there’s no question that Jobs’ vision inspired Apple’s breakthrough innovations and it’s employees. Innovation requires a team and you cannot inspire a team of passionate evangelists without a compelling vision: a vision that is bold, simple, and consistently communicated.
You don’t need to be Steve Jobs to learn from his style
And you don’t need to be the size of Apple to have a vision. But you must get clear in your own mind and be able to articulate to others, the vision of your company and not just side-step it as something only ‘big’ organisations do. Your vision is your MAGIC. And it is just as important to paint the picture of the future when you are hiring your fourth team member, as it is when you are pitching to a group of investors or holding a Town Hall meeting with 200+ attendees. People want to work for leaders who give their lives meaning and sharing this with your team to inspire and motivate, gives you a unique and competitive edge.
Values are part of your vision too
They underpin ‘how’ you do business and are the essence of your culture. They summarise the characteristics which are important to you and your team and are a description of what behaviours actually take place and rewarded in your company day to day rather than those which look pretty on a website. With nearly 90% of poor hires not working out are as a result of weak cultural fit, taking time to describe how you want your team to work and what you expect from the word-go will reap rewards in terms of hiring those who are culturally aligned to your business.
Sounds a bit too wishy-washy for you?
Then take note of Michael Gerber who repeatedly found in his bestseller “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It”, that the habit of working on the day-to-day operational problems without really taking time to come up with a vision or dream to really aim for, meant that it will typically fail. And no one wants that.
Creating meaning to people’s lives can feel overwhelming, so to help translate your vision into reality, we’ve shared this this guide below for you to break it all down to manageable chunks…
theHRhub Guide To Writing A Vision
|The Title||The Action||The Hack|
|Mission statement||Write a short concise statement that describes the overall purpose of your company (beyond making money…).
It should be:
|Think of how you would like to be described by your team in the pub or what you would put on a T-Shirt (and it still be readable…).|
|Long term objectives||Choose up to 5 broad long-term (c. 3-5 years) goals which support your Mission Statement and which, if achieved, would signal success for you.
Use these to articulate your business strategy further (be it growth: either by acquisition/ external investment/ organically – through to a specific product or service or recognition within a specific area etc.).
|Make sure to include the financial as well as the non-financial.
Debate on this can trigger all sorts of ideas so involve your top team in suggesting where they think are the broader opportunities.
|Company values||Write down all those things you think are important to you: the principles, characteristics and behaviours.
Cluster them until you have a handful of words and phrases which accurately sum up what you think best represents your business, test them with your team and hey presto, you have your values!
(n.b. it can take a few rounds but don’t skimp on it!)
|Ask each of the team to think of who your most valued employees are. What is it that they bring to the ‘party’ which they rate so highly?|
|Company goals (or objectives)||What tangible, measurable things will you do over the next 6-12 months to support your long term objectives?
When do you want to achieve these by? Add in some timescales and be realistic!
|Don’t have more than 5 in any one period & start with the key areas of your company that need improving.|
|Company key result areas||Define and set out the measures for success of each company goal (be specific & make sure they are measurable improvements over time rather than ethereal and vague ones).
The key results need to show what you expect to see if you achieve your objective.
|Measurements can be in time, % improvements, binary numbers, customer accounts etc. as well as £££, however they should always include timeframes to complete which are not easy to hit but not too difficult.|
For help in translating your dreams into a reality the team can get behind, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 627 7048 and speak to our team. We’re always happy to help and offer a free initial review to help you understand how to make valuable changes to support your business.
Image: Ben Sutherland on Flickr