I am excited that people are beginning to see vision as more of a rally cry, than a bunch of well-crafted words.
I’m not suggesting that companies should not have a vision statement. I am suggesting that the vision statement should only be a starting point and that every department within the organization should adopt their own vision statement – one that fits into the company’s vision – but one that is personal and completely reflective of the role that department plays in the company.
People who are passionate about what they do are engaged. People who are striving to achieve a vision that is just on that side of impossible, work desperately to make it happen. They are excited to be part of something grand.
When vision becomes personal – motivation, morale, and outstanding performance are natural products.
You may be thinking that what I am describing is more of a goal than a vision. In some ways, you are right. Both a goal and a vision will need to change from time to time. Once a goal is achieved, it is necessary to start looking at the next big thing, time to set a new goal. A goal always needs to be directly related to the mission and vision of the company. So what is different about vision?
A vision does not need to be specific, measurable, time-bound, or even realistic.
I have asked many employees in many organizations to tell me their vision. Often, the result is a Google search! The most impressive answers have come from employees in specific departments or units who quickly blurt out the vision of their department – often in seven words or less. One department I worked with had a two-word vision that had significant meaning to every person in the department. It was one of the most highly motivated departments I have observed.
The challenge is to keep people excited about what they are doing. Let’s give them something big to aim for and make it known with a rally cry – a phrase that means something to them – something that inspires them every day to accomplish something great. And once it is achieved? Time for a new vision!