A high-level perspective can reveal your organization’s parts and pieces and can assist you in identifying what is in alignment and what isn’t. Of all the principle foundations you could choose to begin, vision is often the missing dimension that prevents an otherwise effective organization from excelling.
Perhaps your organization has excellent products and service support that receives high client praise, but your management hasn’t agreed on its core vision or purpose. Without a doubt, vision is the central driver to success and often the missing dimension in the organization’s continued growth. When an organization’s vision is deeply integrated into everything everyone does, this is a significant key to success.
By integrating a compelling vision, organizations gain access to new market opportunities. New leaders in every market emerge when they have developed something that meets a unique need or solves an old problem. Organizations of all types, for-profit, and not-for-profit, can achieve new market growth when the organization is aligned with one primary vision. Yet, when you ask business executives, “What is your strategic vision?” they often respond, “We have one, but it’s kind of fuzzy up and down our organization.” Or, “One of our problems is we have so many ideas we aren’t focused enough to work on just one.”
Our research has discovered that many organizations can state their vision, but it is treated as more of a slogan and a marketing function. The value of a vision is most often described through the programs or services it delivers and supports for its particular market sector. Too often, vision is pushed into a tactical direction, such as, “What percentage of the market has this vision delivered to us lately?”
As a result, many organizations do not receive the value of a well-integrated vision because they are too narrowly focused on results, not what drives them. Our research of leading organizations found that they take a corporate-wide integrative approach to implement their vision to ensure that it is well understood at all levels of their organization.
I realize this sounds like an obvious thing that all organizations should do, and it is. Still, management needs a continuing razor focus to ensure that their vision drives strategic projects up and down the organization. I have identified seven ways leading organizations deliver significant value and produce growth by harnessing the power of vision:
- Vision is the enabler, similar to how an outstanding IT Group becomes the “go-to” expert for integrating communications.
- Vision is thought of as a guide. Whatever decision needs to be made, big or small, the goal is to determine if it’s in or out of alignment. It is also an evaluative tool to identify opportunities to reinforce the organization’s market strength and position.
- Vision brings a consensus of creative thought to the rest of the organization and helps it market itself effectively.
- Vision provides over-arching direction for new programs and services under consideration where investments in people and finance are critical.
- Vision is the measuring rod that provides an honest baseline of your current position and leads to a measurable set of key performance indicators that evaluate and manage successful programs and contributors.
- Vision directly manages significant relationships that cross-market the organization into new markets that are considered strategic.
- Vision guides high-volume and high-value programs that enable critical mass and growth for the organization.
So, how many of these best practices does your organization follow? They can create a compelling vision that enables your organization to deliver successful new offerings and achieve new market growth. Instead of focusing your strategic efforts on a small group within your organization, you can equip your organization to generate growth across your entire enterprise.