Envision Your Future
Too often, leaders facing the day-to-day demands of their organization don’t look into the future to see what should be. A clear, well-articulated vision is an essential launching pad for leading an organization to new heights.
Build your vision upon reality. Review your organization’s history to identify notable successes and pinpoint what helped to achieve them. Your key strengths lie here.
- Look at the environments your organization impacts to identify trends. Search for unfolding, unfulfilled needs and more plentiful resources. These suggest opportunities for growth.
- Recognize how your key strengths overlap with key opportunities to determine strategic advantages.
- Articulate your mission and values as a basis for your future.
Have everyone responsible for the long-term health of the organization look forward five or more years and articulate their dreams in the form of a story, letter or video. The foundation for your vision of the future is found in the common, most passionate components of these dreams.
- Articulate these across organizational perspectives – markets, customers, knowledge and skills, processes, technology and innovation using statements that begin, “We envision….”
- Translate these into objectives that state what the organization will do and how it will develop in the future.
- Bring the future back to the present by taking each objective and answering, “If we are to be there in five years, where must we be in four years…. in three…in two…in one. Craft the last statement as a specific, measurable goal.
- For each goal, assign a champion responsible for developing a plan with specific milestones over the upcoming year, and for building a team to execute the plan.
- Meet monthly with every champion to hear successes, shortfalls and requests for help.
Over the years, the accumulated reality of weekly actions, reaching milestones and accomplishing goals will turn the vision into reality. When everyone is pursuing the same vision day-to-day actions are given direction and meaning. Those who see they are contributing to something worthwhile will work smarter, and collectively they will carry the organization to new heights.
May 2, 2013
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