Have you ever wondered what the future will look like? Three, five or ten years from now where will you, your business or your career be? If you have ever asked that question then your mind is telling you it is time to create a Vision of Success.A vision is a view of the future. It captures what you wish to accomplish, provides direction and becomes the foundation for identifying goals and objectives. You can create a vision statement by yourself, as a group leader or together as a team. Developing a vision statement with a team serves to energize, motivate and establish commitment.
Depending on the present state of your business and the complexity of issues both internally and externally, a vision statement could take 1 hour, a half day or a full day to create. The following tips will help you exercise an approach to creating a vision that has worked for many organizations and business teams.
Consider holding a meeting off site. It is important that participants get connected, be engaged and feel involved. You need to avoid interruptions. Consider using a neutral facilitator so that you can participate and be present at the meeting with the rest of your team.
As the saying goes, choose your friends wisely - they can make you or break you. This holds true for a visioning team. You need to take time and choose who needs to be in the room. It is important to consider people who have the best interest of the business at heart. Choose people who will challenge your thinking and bring a different perspective to the process.
Make sure that you have your mission statement available for review. This is assuming you have a mission statement. You can’t do a vision statement without a mission statement. Your people should be reminded what you believe, what you value and what you’re all about. Remember: planning and action follows mission and vision.
Use a challenge to facilitate the creative process. Ask the participants to imagine that they are reading a newspaper five years from now and that the front page is big news about your company. Imagine that this is the best possible news you could read. Write down the headline of the story along with the main points of the story. Make sure that you include the critical decisions the company made in the past five to ten years to reach this point. Have the team write down their ideas, organize them and present them.
Consider answering the following questions:
• What does the article highlight about your organization?
• What does it say about the uniqueness of your organization?
• What services does it report that you are providing?
• What does it tell you about how you’ve changed in the past five years?
• What is the recognizable state you would hope to have in place in the next five years?
Ensure that the team builds on the thoughts and phrases that were created. The important thing here is to focus on the ideas and materials related to the business and its success. Wordsmithing a full vision statement can be assigned to key members of the group for further development and refinement after the initial meeting. Those people can then report and present the refined vision statement at a later meeting.
Host a follow-up meeting to review the refined draft of the vision statement. At this point it’s not about perfection or debates over the words “challenge” or “limitation”. That is a trap. Focus on being directionally sound. It is a vision statement and it is important that it makes sense.
Establish a plan to ensure that your stakeholders understand your vision. Communicate it internally and externally. You cannot achieve that which you do not share. It is important that people know what it is you want to accomplish.
A Vision of Success is all about looking into the looking glass and creating an image of your preferred future. To be successful you need to know what your success looks like.