In my last blog post, I discussed the importance of a company having a “vision,” which I defined as a complete picture of what your company could be/might be some time in the far distant future. It’s something that you work toward without any sense of when it will be fully realized, perhaps never. It’s the light in the distance that gives meaning to everything you do. It’s what your company would look like, some day, if anything and everything was possible, which it is, and your company could truly be a dream come true. You can find a series of questions to ask to formulate your company vision in Chapter 19 of Unshackled Leadership, available at www.thpalliance.com.
Why is having a vision so important? I’ll deal with one of many reasons here: it gives you a powerful place to stand and look from in creating a strategic objective. Most companies (maybe many) have a sense of where they want to be in 5 years. But in the ordinary course of events, that picture is created looking forward from where the company is today.
The problem with that approach is that where you are today is a result of your thinking and actions in the past and the view of the future tends to be a prediction or guess about how to extend that past into the future. Which is why most companies futures tends to look like their pasts.
But if you have a true vision, what you can do is look from there and see how much of that vision you want to take on in the next 5 years. So the strategic objective becomes a reflection not of what has happened in the past but something created inside the possibility represented by the vision. These different approaches are really like night and day.
Here’s the best part of all. Once you have such a strategic objective, if you are the leader, start acting like you are the leader not of your organization as it exists today but as it will exist in 5 years. Create an organizational chart for the company as it will exist in 5 years and use that chart as a road map to get you there. As I will write more about next time, the universe will open all the doors necessary for your strategic objective to become a reality.