What Twain Might Say about a Shared Vision

Mark Twain once said “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”  He may have had his hand on the pulse of most business executives when he said this.

How do you know you’ve succeeded in creating a shared vision for your organization?  What would employees in your company tell me if I asked what the vision for their company was?

Ultimately, when you present your new vision to the next generation employees at a corporate event, and they are all on board, you know your vision is on target. The worst situation is when you first articulate the new vision and you get a collective rolling of the eyes. In that case, you know it didn’t work. The vision was a little too grandiose, a little too impractical, and you have to dial it back a bit. The vision you construct must be based on some sort of reality and not just wishful thinking.  But it also has to have enough juice to get folks excited about the journey to come.

Start communicating the vision early and do it often. Mac MacLure, former CEO of RWD, meets with all new employees during their orientation to present RWD’s vision, describe the company’s plan, and administer a “strong dose of culture.”  Meet with new employees and new team members early and often.  To achieve not just a workable vision but also buy in for the idea, the entire leadership team must be involved in its conception. The collective wisdom of the entire team will create a possible, practical vision of where the organization can go.

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