Your organization’s success relies on the people who are on this journey with you. Arthur Ashe, the great African-American tennis player and activist wrote that, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”
The journey your organization makes is the product of everyone’s movement. In successful organizations individuals pull in the same direction; but, if there is a lack of clarity about how to pull in the same direction, it’s like a dogsled with an uncoordinated team, it moves very little.
An organization’s destination is expressed in the mission, which describes how people are served and how stakeholders win. We all need a strong reason for our efforts. The mission statement should express the rewards that will be earned.
The vision statement and key milestones outline your chosen path. They result from an examination of the demographic trends that influence your business. Since the needs and desires of every population segment are constantly changing, your organization needs to determine where the people you intend to serve will be in five years and set a course to meet them there.
Each milestone is a destination along the way. Clear, specific, measurable goals are the steps required to reach each milestone. Clarify what short-term actions will be executed to make it happen.
The vision and milestones need to be subdivided so each department and each team understands their contribution. Individuals need to recognize their own key milestones so they will see the road before them.
Although you may never achieve the exact vision, repeatedly meeting specified milestones unfolds as success. Because people don’t always recognize this it is essential for all managers to observe, note and point out successes to every staff member, help them celebrate; even if only to say, “Thank you.”
When successes are recognized and acknowledged by someone they respect, it leads to good feelings and confidence. All individuals attempt to pull in the right direction. They will carry the organization on a journey through many milestones and the organization will reap the rewards of greater successes.