The importance of bringing Organisational Vision or Strategy to life, and our top tips.
Everyone wants to know where they are going and how they are going to get there, unless of course you are one of those carefree travellers who puts a pin in a map at random and leaves the house with nothing but a backpack, a passport, a change of pants and a toothbrush… wow, that was a great conference…no, but seriously, we are talking about Organisational Vision and Strategy.
No, no, please don’t hit delete, we know it may sound a little corporate and dare we say uninteresting but isn’t that just exactly why we need to bring it to life in a more interesting way?
In our experience, the clearer an organisations’ plan is to see, understand and communicate, the easier it is for everyone to get behind it and the more likely you are to actually stand a chance of getting there.
If your people believe in what you are all doing and where you are all going, they are more likely to stick around and give their best in order to help achieve it. And that feels good for everyone!
Even better, if you can involve people, and truly understand the business challenges faced at all levels, then tangible, actionable, creative solutions can be developed.
This level of involvement gives individuals the chance to have their say and feel they are contributing, and are not just another number on a page. It will also ensure that your future vision is relevant and applicable to everyone.
So how on earth do you do this, especially if you have numerous global locations? We have a step by step process that we adopt and here are some top tips from some of our previous experiences…
1. Acknowledge the truth
You can’t make a clear path for where you want to go if you don’t know where you are. Get out into the business – talk to people, spend time doing focus groups, doing interviews etc- the more people and levels you speak to the better. If you can offer anonymity, you are more likely to get a truer picture of what is going on across the business.
We’re happy to talk to anyone, by the way.
2. Create the future
You may already have a stated vision, a mission statement, or a purpose statement. Don’t let it just be words on a page but encourage people to explore how it actually looks and feels.
Involve as many different voices as you can and ask them what they believe the future can be – an Leadership Team vision is not going to be the same for Mel who works in the plant.
3. Replay your findings
If you don’t tell people what you have done with their inputs, they will see this as an exercise and won’t believe you. We always use powerful visuals, videos or animations to replay these findings.
4. Involve everyone in the ‘how ’
This is undoubtedly the trickiest part, the biggest risk of people going off at a tangent or getting bogged down in the data and smaller intricacies of running a business. Or worse, just being generic and not specific enough.
Design events and communications in such a way that involve people, will allow localised teams to build on the existing state, add their relevance to the future vision, keep on track with their discussions, have an interactive experience and generate outcomes of tangible steps and actions that they can implement.
5. Share it!
Creating a rich picture is one way to show the collective vision and strategy. Tell your story to everyone!
Keep communicating and show evidence of things that have already happened as a result of this approach that is making a difference.
6. Don’t let it be a gimmick
Keep it front and centre.
If it is a picture, have it on display in offices. Keep dialogue going in meetings, townhalls etc…you name it.
Hold yourself accountable to it. If needs be, revisit it 6 months down the line for a refresher session; have you done what you said you would do? If not, then look at how can you amend that to ensure you are back on track.
If you really want to be clear on where you’re heading and how to get people to all pull in the same direction then, in our experience, nobody has done this better than our friend Ben Hunt-Davies and his concept of Will It Make the Boat Go Faster. The ultimate literal ‘all pulling in the same direction‘ which ended in him and his colleagues achieving their lofty ambition.
Your ambition might not be an Olympic Title but if you and your people are losing direction and feeling overwhelmed then a clear view of where you’re going is going to help.
If you want a step-by-step guide about how to share your organisational strategy or vision, find a copy here
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We are experts in helping organisations to breathe life into their vision, values or strategies. Bringing our creative expertise to make corporate narratives engaging, compelling and memorable.