Business vision is about generating ideas about the way ahead — for a project or business change initiative for instance — plus the ability to articulate these ideas so that other people buy-in to the vision and join you on the journey.
It is this second characteristic or quality that makes for an effective leader.
Moreover, vision is about outcomes not how you intend to achieve them. Consequently, a business vision should be a simple and inspirational statement.
In his book, Putting Strategy to Work* [UK Edition]*, Eddie Obeng describes four types of business endeavour: painting by numbers, going on a quest, making a movie, and lost in fog. Whilst each of these project types has different characteristics and requires different leadership styles the type of change they help to create all need a clearly communicated business vision.
Vision provides direction, a sense of purpose, and a sense of motivation for you and your project team.
Creating the Business Vision
Vision is created from imagination: thoughts and ideas about the way ahead for a project or business change initiative, service area or entire organisation.
In a nutshell vision is about creating and managing change! And change only succeeds if everyone is travelling in the right direction. Creating a business vision involves the following leadership qualities:
- Complete conviction that the strategy for change you are putting to work is the right course of action
- A focus on the outcome or future state you need
- Involving others in the development of a shared vision
- Testing ideas and seeking constructive feedback
- Realistic yet challenging aspirations
Communicating Your Business Vision
A vision needs to be shared!
By sharing your business vision you begin to assimilate it into the organisation’s culture. That is, you craft the vision into doable steps that will turn dream to reality.
Communicating the vision needs to be done regularly by:
- Using words and images to illustrate the vision
- Living the vision
- Creating short-term objectives compatible with the vision
- Encouraging others to fashion their own personal vision that is aligned with organisational values, culture, and the vision
How should leaders create and communicate a clear business vision?
Creative Commons image courtesy Chris Elt.