I’ve been reading a few books lately on the best way to create and implement a vision for your company. I have to admit, when I first became President of my organization, I didn’t consider how important creating, implementing, and maintaining a vision was for the future of the company. In hindsight, I think I was naïve about the role of President; therefore, I wasn’t aware of how important a corporate vision would be in fostering long-term organizational success. In an effort to help others avoid the pitfalls and obstacles I encountered, I have assembled three tips from my experience on how to create a vision:
1) Carve Out Time
As I spend more time in my role, I realize how important it is to take time to step away from the business to plan for the future. I do this in several ways. Sometimes, I go to a coffee shop or to an industry seminar where I have the mental capacity to disconnect from “today” and plan for “tomorrow.” I also read and listen to business audiobooks, which includes taking notes and making plans that incorporate the information that is best for my organization. No matter how, it’s important that you carve out time to vision plan monthly (if not more).
2) Reflect and Evaluate
While you are taking time to plan for the future, it is also important that you reflect on the past. What has gone right in the last 30 days and why? What has gone wrong in the last 30 days and why? How would you make a success even better? How would you change a shortcoming to make it a success? What have you accomplished this month to achieve your stated mission?
Most importantly, you must communicate to your executive team and your staff what the plan is and how you intend to get there. Communicate to them how they fit in the plan and what the benefits are for the organization if the plan is implemented and successful. In order for the plan to succeed, you have to create buy-in through this communication. I believe the best way to create buy-in is to ask for feedback and accept it. Typically, your tendency will be to defend your position, but the perspective of your team is different and always helpful in making your vision more real for the company. Encourage the feedback! Embrace the feedback!
I hope these tips will help you with your vision planning. If you are already vision planning, I hope this reminds you to carve out time and to reflect. And if you are not currently vison planning, I hope this helps you start! But most importantly, I hope that this reminds you to effectively communicate your plan to the team. Several years ago, I read Stick with It by Lee J. Colan and Julie Davis-Colan, and in this book, something resonated with me. The authors said that even the worst plan in the world will work to some degree if you commit to it and stick to it. If you don’t have a plan, you don’t have a chance! +
*This article was featured in our Risk & Business magazine, Fall 2019 Edition*