What’s in a Vision?
Sixteen years ago when JOURNEY4 was in the process being formed, the founders sat down to talk about their respective visions for the future of the business. It soon became apparent that not only did we have different visions of the future, we also had very different understandings of what a vision should be!
Jonathan Booth explains how a clear and compelling vision properly communicated through a business keeps it on track to achieve its end goal.
When we started the business, we decided that our definition of an organisational vision would be a statement of ‘why’ the business exists, as opposed to ‘what’ it seeks to achieve for itself, (which we call the ambition statement).
We knew that the most compelling and lasting statements of a future organisational vision would be those that articulate ‘why’ the organisation exists in the eyes of its customers.
The JOURNEY4 vision is ‘Delivering Sustained Growth’ – our core purpose is to help our clients achieve sustainable customer-driven growth
Bringing the Vision to Life
The true test of an organisational vision is not how catchy it sounds or how it looks on the website, or the plaque in reception. It is what it means to people at all levels of the organisation, how aligned they (and the processes that support them) are with it and how able they are to deliver against it.
If the vision is clear and compelling, well communicated, actively driven by the leaders of the organisati0n and cascaded to all levels, there is a good chance that the organisation will be moving in right direction towards it.
If there are regular reviews of the progress made towards the vision and its true meaning is embedded in the culture and environment of the organisation, this will remain the case. (I will expand on some of these areas in future blogs.)
If not, the vision will remain a distant ideal – no more than a collection of words on the plaque in reception.
And if this is the case, our advice would always be to take that plaque down before it causes any further disillusionment!
So, whilst having a clear and compelling – and preferably customer-focused – vision is important, this is not going to change anything on its own.
Defining the end goal (B) and where we are now (A) should be the first two steps in any change process.
The more difficult task, however, is to work out ‘how’ you are going to get from A to B.
You must do that in the knowledge that, whilst this process has to be clearly mapped out, things rarely turn out as you plan.
As Eisenhower once said, to paraphrase: “Planning is everything. The Plan is nothing. The minute the plan is written, it is out of date.”
As long as you know where you’re heading (B – the vision), keep that end clearly in mind and align everything you do with that end.
You will get there.
It won’t be straightforward – you might have to take the odd detour – and maybe even make a few U-turns…
but maintain the focus, keep the faith, and you will get there… simple!
For more information about Journey4’s own Vision Journey and how we can help with yours, contact us on 01823 451 199 or complete an enquiry form for a confidential discussion.