Last week I discussed why it is important to have a Vision for your business. You can read it HERE if you missed it.
This week I show you how to create your vision.
Like diet and exercise, it is one thing to know something is important and another thing to actually do it. I’ve found when it comes to VISION that there are 4 common mistakes that plaque leaders:
- Not creating a vision at all;
- Not making the vision clear enough;
- Failure to adequately communicate; and
- Lack of follow-through.
Have any of these mistakes plagued you? This post will address the first two mistakes about vision: creating and clarifying your vision. I will address the latter two mistakes in a later blog post.
Preparing to Cast Your Vision:
It is important to properly prepare for creating your vision. This process should not be taken lightly or be left to chance. You are already on-board with the importance of this by reading this blog post. You know a vision is important and you want to set the destination of your business well enough to find the success you know is available.
Here are my preparation tips:
- Have a dedicated time set aside. Depending on the size and maturity of your business. I would plan for 1-3 hours to fully define and articulate your vision.
- Have a dedicated space. Typically, your normal office has too many distractions for this type of deep visioning work. This is why so many leadership teams use off-site meetings. Find a space that is clear of distractions.
- Have a whiteboard. Markerboards with dry erase markers are essential for me to do this type of visioning. Some people will use an electronic method (Lucidchart, mindmup.com, google doc, or something similar) but I am still sold on the value of a board on the wall.
- Involve the right people. If you are the sole business owner and single, then you can probably do this alone. For everyone else, spouses and business partners or executive leadership is required to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Use a facilitator. The services of a coach or consultant can greatly increase your success in vision casting. And I’m not just saying that to get you as a customer (although shamelessly I’m here for that too). I sat down with a coach last week to work on my business and this was part of the conversation. I can tell you it’s helpful to have an outsider’s perspective during this process.
Now that you have the time, tools, and space it is time to begin casting your vision. These steps are the basic outline of what I do to help my clients cast their vision. The process works if you do.
- Pick a time in the future. My default is Five Years in the future but that can change based on your business.
- Imagine the world is perfect. There are no global pandemics wreaking havoc or insane market depressions that affect you. What if things were as perfect as they could be in this timeframe?
- Begin brainstorming and brain-dumping what your business would look like. This is where the whiteboard comes in handy. Be as descriptive as you can be and include all aspects of your business:
- Size (in terms of staff, total revenue, etc.)
- Space (location, offices, etc.)
- Service (what do you offer, business lines, categories, etc.)
- Customers (how many, who is your ideal customer)
- Impact and Community (how do you give back, what does your network look like)
- Time and Positions (Who spends what time working on what job? Are you active in the business or have you hired a CEO or other roles?)
- Anything else that comes to mind about your business
- Refine your brainstorming into a mental picture and written description of what your business will look like.
- TAKE A BREAK. 15 – 30 minutes of something other than vision casting. I recommend at least a walk around the building to get in a different headspace before proceeding.
- Review your vision and make any changes that come to mind.
Now you have a vision of where you are leading your business! The final step is to clarify and ensure you didn’t miss anything.
The best way to clarify your vision is to share it with a few key individuals or groups to see if it has enough clarity and you didn’t miss a blindspot. The best way to get this step done is to illicit help from someone who knows something about you and your business. Here’s a list of people that are usually in a good place to help you clarify: business coach, board of advisors, mentor, spouse, key employees/managers.
Clarity is not about changing your vision or making it into something that someone else wants. Clarifying your vision ensures you don’t have any blindspots or assumptions. Sometimes our mind makes connections that aren’t clear to others and we have to be more specific or reveal additional information. This step in seeking clarity gives you the chance to add any needed details.