Balancing Compliance with Vision

One of the most challenging endeavors for mid market leaders is to clearly and passionately communicate the vision for their company or project.  This is especially true if it has been a while since you’ve decided to share your vision or, as is the case with a number of companies these days, the recent past has been a struggle and you may have gotten sloppy.

Maybe earnings are down, revenues are flat and the pipeline for new projects is a bit thin.  Perhaps you were able to cover up lousy program management practices of the past with positive news on growth.  Maybe the sins of the past are a bit more apparent these days.

Does this mean your vision for the future is one of compliance?  Does this mean your next corporate communications, all-hands speech or corporate blog is filled with how much you are going to emphasize project controls and cost discipline?  Does this mean lawyers and accountants are the new rock stars of the company?  Of course the answer is a very loud no!

Corporate cost discipline, governance, project controls and risk mitigation are all incredibly important but I have never heard anyone join a company or sing the praises of their company using these words.  “Hey Joe, why did you leave your job with Google to join Carpe Diem Inc.?”  “Haven’t you heard, they’ve just rolled out a new project cost control system… it rocks!”  These words are never said.

Vision and the strategy to fulfill that vision should be exciting.  Leaders are followed for their vision and ability to direct an organization.  Compliance is table stakes … you simply have to be compliant but compliance is not a compelling vision nor a strategy for anything other than being average.

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