You’ve spent a few months developing and fine-tuning your Vision. And, you have a high level of confidence the Vision is shared and understood by everyone in your organization. Now what? It is a common mistake to believe that once a company develops their Vision, or desired future, everything falls into place like magic – almost overnight. Time for a reality check: This will never be the case. Unfortunately, this expectation (by upper management and directors) also creates various levels of frustration among employees – as they are often expected to just “make it happen” – along with everything they are already doing.
To be sure you have a Shared Vision it is important you have only one vision in your company. Some organizations have developed unique vision statements for departments and even individuals. While this may be an interesting exercise (read: increased consultant fees), it may do nothing more than fracture or blur your overarching company Vision. Remember, a clear and concise business plan is easier to deploy, train, and more budget friendly.
Rather than build individual and departmental visions, your resources are better spent developing and supporting systematic methodologies (across all functions of the organization) to identify tactics to support the Mission (what must continue to do today) and strategies to move closer to the shared Vision (our desired future). This will provide your organization with a more cohesive group, working hand-in-hand to create momentum and achieve high-performance results.
Here are a few steps to link an individual workgroup’s operation to your Vision.
- Ask: “How can our workgroup improve our current systems to free-up resources necessary to more effectively deliver our Mission, and move closer to our Vision?” Remember, you still have an operation to run. So, how do you continue to meet those demands, while freeing resources to move toward your Vision? This is not an easy exercise, especially in today’s “rightsizing” environment.
- “What are we doing today that supports our shared vision?”
- “What are we doing today that inhibits our ability to support our shared vision?” (Be ready to jettison or rework these processes.)
- “What skills and competencies will our workgroup need to fine tune, acquire, or protect in order to support the organization’s shared vision?”
- Share this information in a cross-functional setting to develop a series of coordinated tactical plans aimed at “addressing things we need to get done today”, and moving toward our “desired future”.
A shared Vision and strategic business plan are crucial to ensuring your resources are aligned toward your desired future. But, the plan doesn’t do the work by itself. Your staff makes it happen. Be sure to support their efforts, provide them with resources to be successful, and be open to their ideas and ways of doing things more efficiently and effectively. And, remember, support begins at the top. From the Boardroom and Executive Team. Otherwise, your strategies will die on the vine.
By Ron Woodbury
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