Finally, some brave manager got up the gumption to ask you what the vision of the company was. It’s not like this is an unreasonable question. After all you are in charge!
Creating a vision would be a cinch if we could order working crystal balls from an online store. Every leader would simply need to peer into the ball and a crystal clear vision would appear in a silver lined cloud over their head. Since this approach may yield dubious results, we’ll use much more complex tools: our judgement, our intuition and our actions.
Creating a vision is a crucial step in building alignment among your leadership team because without it, you simply can not create a new reality. But how do you proceed? How do you know if the vision you and your leadership team has fashioned is the right one for your organization?
One way is to envision the process of vision validation as a triangle, with each point representing:
- intuition and
The center of the triangle is occupied by the collective experiences of the team. All four of these concepts work together, and independently, in the visioneering process.
Your judgment is based upon your experience in managing exercises like this before. Having been a part of strategy exercises or perhaps having lead a vision creation exercise in the past will allow you to use good judgment in formulating a new vision. Ask yourself if this vision will fly with your customers, your investors, your employees.
Intuition is your gut feeling. It’s your ability to understand the consequences of a decision with little or no analysis. Your intuition will tell you if you are on the right track, even though that track may be very difficult to quantify.
Taking action means you are always moving toward fulfilling your vision. Judgment and intuition do you no good at all if you can’t put them into action. Your vision has to be actionable or it will forever remain a corporate platitude. Think about all the people you meet, with perfect 20-20 hindsight, willing to share their ‘just missed’ opportunity. If you feel you are being called in a certain direction, say yes. Actions do speak louder than words.
Finally, your judgment, intuition and action are all wrapped in your experiences. The successes and failures you and your company have experienced should all be teachable moments. Look at them as opportunities for the collective wisdom of the organization to grow. Seek out past leaders and learn about their successes and failures. As we know, history has a way of repeating itself.