Four-Step Visioning Process
Whenever I visit client companies there are many questions asked by team members. Among the most common are, “Where is the company headed (vision) and what is my role in helping us get there (performance management)?" Let’s take a closer look.
Many times, owners and their leadership team will express concern and even frustration that their employees don’t seem to know where the business is heading. My response is first, why/how would they know? And second, it’s good news that employees want to know where the business is headed.
If there is a vision for the organization, it is often lost on the employees even if it appears on your website or is posted on the wall of your customer reception area or employee break room. To breathe life into your vision statement, it can and should be linked to organizational behaviors tied to your values and made part of performance expectations.
For those who don’t have a well-articulated vision statement or feel it’s time for a refresher, here is a simple, four-step process to help you get started.
Have your leadership team consider the following.
- What is it you will provide in terms of products & services?
- For whom will you look to provide this?
- How will you do this in a way that is unique and distinctly different from your customers’ alternatives?
- What is your “why”? In other words, what is the desired outcome, who benefits and how?
In preparation for a visioning workshop, ask your team to complete the following and bring it with them to the session:
“(Company name) aims to provide best in class (what are our primary products/service) to (who are our target customers with whom we have the best chance for mutual success) by utilizing (what is our unique ability/process) so that (what is the desired outcome, who benefits and how?).
Even if you have a vision statement now, consider this exercise with your leadership team. Given the right structure and environment, the process will engender some interesting and meaningful discussion around these basic but often overlooked concepts. Your goal is not as much to “wordsmith” the vision; that can be done later. When the first phase of this exercise is completed, compare the draft vision you’ve created to what you already have.
Once you are satisfied with your vision statement, the next step is to communicate this to all stakeholders, including your employees. More on this next time.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.