What do the best and most successful people and organizations have and use that the lesser performers don’t? What they have is the key to:
- Clear focus about what is most important and valuable
- Faster decision making – at every level of the organization
- Aligning efforts towards achieving most really matters for success
- Connection to and sense of meaning in their work and with the organization
The answer is simple, even though it seems to not be understood nor utilized well.
The vision that a person or an organization has is the container for the critical elements that give life, purpose, and understanding to what we aspire to, focus on achieving, and guide decision making with.
The ability to have a clear, compelling, well-communicated, congruent answer to the questions of who are we, and where are we going is essential for high performance. It also provides an important, coherent connection for managers and employees to their organization, their work, and their future.
The inability to meaningfully answer the question “why are we doing what we’re doing” leads people into a number of sub-optimal activities:
- Lack of effective action because they don’t know where they are going
- Waiting for direction for lack of knowing what really matters
- Doing whatever is urgent or loudly requested since they lack a basis for prioritizing choices
- Limiting their thinking on what to do, since they lack a strong basis for effective decision making
- Missing a deep connection to their organization since they don’t know what it stands for or is heading
Without being able to articulate clearly and compellingly why a decision matters, employees and organizations lack the fundamentals of long-term coherence about who they are and what they stand for.
Look at those companies considered to be the most successful, innovative, forward looking, and dynamic – i.e.: Alphabet/Google, Apple, GE, and Amazon. While they are significantly different from each other, they all possess an internal coherence and culture built on their vision and values. A powerful vision is a picture of the future, that describes the anticipated, hoped for, and desired results that happen when an organization fully manifests its identity, values, and purpose in the future.
The three most powerful foundations for defining a person or an organization, and which are the key components of vision, are:
- Who they are
- What they honor and value most
- Why they exist
However, most companies and organizations have never defined these well, if at all. Without clarity about who they are, what really matters to them, and why they really exist, how would you create a meaningful and compelling picture of the future?
Any organization that says its vision or mission is enhancing shareholder value is totally missing the real power of vision and mission. Enhancing shareholder value is at best a goal, if not a strategy. It is not the driving force of employee engagement, innovative decision-making, nor meaningful strategic thinking. Yet many organizations believe that this serves as a quality vision or mission. Very sad.
With a clear and compelling picture of the future, you have a platform for focusing on and making the best possible decisions – both short- and long-term. This is how you get away from reacting to the tactical, immediate and urgent demands, which too often deliver inadequate results that fail to build and grow an organization.
As the Mad Hatter said to Alice In Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will do.” How well, and how clearly, is your vision of the future building what you need and want for your organization?
For further insight, check out our one minute, 36 second video here: https://youtu.be/TFmH9sTaeAg
To your success,