You either let the future create you or you create your future to build your greatest assurance of long-term success.
What can you do to create the future for your organization?
The first step is to look over past years to identify your organization’s greatest successes. Your best strengths were instrumental in these outcomes. Ask clients, employees and other stakeholders to share their views of the ingredients that created these successes. Discern your greatest strengths.
Look forward in time to see where your clients and potential customers will be in five years. Their needs and wants are moving targets. Consider how key characteristics, such as the demographics of your clients, will change. Identify which needs will maintain, emerge, unfold and disappear; these are the source of future opportunities.
Studies show that the most important leadership characteristic for a successful future is a strategic vision.
Begin to dream by asking each leader to write a news article for a prestigious media site, dated five years in the future, describing wonderful accomplishments and other great things that happened over the previous five years. These are unstructured descriptions of the organization’s future.
As leaders share their stories, extract the common themes and elements to reveal building blocks for describing the future organization in detail. This leads to a single statement of what the vision means.
Create your vision – create your dream.
Everyone needs to be on board to make your vision a reality. Share the vision and help each individual discover the positive results they’ll earn. Ensure they articulate and take ownership for their contribution.
Have the leadership team write specific goals for the upcoming year, representing clear movement to the future vision. Assign a champion charged with accomplishing each goal, while engaging others in their quest. Each will craft a plan specifying the goal, benefits and milestones with specific completion dates.
Ensure everyone schedules enough time to accomplish their specific component of the milestone. Bring the team together monthly to report on the milestones, successes and shortfalls, and to ask for needed help.
When every division, every team, every individual does the same and accomplishes strategic goals regularly, the organization builds powerful momentum to create its dream, experiencing new, exciting successes. Everyone reaps the benefits of dreaming.