Visions Can Be Great Or Not Worth The Paper, Slides and Walls They’re Written On

Visions Can Be Great Or Not Worth The Paper, Slides and Walls They’re Written On

Top Performance Consulting has just started a project which involves helping a major charity create their vision for 2020. My past experience in such projects has mainly involved a top-down approach in supporting a board to create a vision which they believe will inspire their people. The problem with this approach is that they only know if they have been successful when they eventually communicate it and witness the impact.

Visions can be great or not worth the paper, slides and walls they’re written on. The top-down approach can be very hit-and-miss whilst a bottom-up approach provides the best chance of making a real difference. What’s exciting about the project we’re working on in the charity is that it is a bottom-up approach.

All employees have been invited to a series of focus group sessions around the UK where their thoughts on the current and the future will be aired and shared before I go to the Senior Leadership Team to use that information to help shape the vision.

In designing this project, I re-read an article written by Dr Tara Jones which spelled out the ten ‘rules’ for getting a vision right. Follow the link, at the end of this blog, to read the whole article if you wish (but for those of you who want the short version, here you go:

  1. Create a vision you believe in and that excites you. If it doesn’t excite you how can you excite others with it?
  2. Consult as many people from different parts of the business as possible to ensure that everyone feels connected to the vision and responsible to achieve it.
  3. Learn what motivates your people. Listen to what frustrates and excites them. Ensure the vision taps into these motivations for people to feel a connection to it.
  4. Ensure there is clear alignment to KPIs, to performance management systems, and to all processes that will support the achievement of the vision.
  5. Communicate the vision in a compelling way that leads people into the future, but is connected deeply with and values past and present successes.
  6. Tell stories to bring the vision alive in a compelling and engaging way.
  7. Ensure the vision is clear and simple. Use imagery to paint a picture of what the future will look like.
  8. Give your people a chance to make sense of the vision and what it means to them so they can make it their own.
  9. Live the vision; allow your passion for the vision to ooze out of you.
  10. Align your behaviours with the vision; if you can’t step up your performance, how can you expect others to?

Adhering to these rules will maximise the chance of your own vision for your organisation or team having the effect visions are supposed to have.

Article – What’s Your Vision

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