Leadership Trainings Clarify the Goals of Organizations
Truly great companies understand the difference between what should never change and what should be open for change, between what is genuinely sacred and what is not.
This rare ability to manage continuity and change—requiring a consciously practiced discipline—is closely linked to the ability to develop a vision.
Vision provides guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate progress toward.
But vision has become one of the most overused and least understood words in the language, conjuring up different images for different people: of deeply held values, outstanding achievement, societal bonds, exhilarating goals, motivating forces, or raisons d’être.
However before we get ahead of ourselves and begin writing out a number of vision statements or mission statements, we’ve got to tap into the heart of our team first.
Perhaps all this talk of vision for you as a manager seems out of place – isn’t it up to the CEO, the Board, the C-suite to identify a vision?
Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
As a manager in a start-up perhaps the vision is still being cultivated and reshaped. Perhaps in a more established startup as a manager your role is to give this vision life to the team.
At its final stages of becoming a high-performing Unicorn Team, your team needs an all-encompassing vision so they can work towards bringing a unified goal to life.
Not setting or not knowing how to set clear priorities and goals in a way that empowers and inspires your team at your startup can hinder your success.
In other words, organizational alignment is a key differentiator between high-performing and low-performing companies.
Vision is a picture of a desired future state sufficiently appealing and compelling to drive change forward—the “where we want to be.”
An all-encompassing vision will help in clarifying the priorities and goals of your organization.
Aligned goals create a familial atmosphere where everyone works together and understands their role. Simply put, if your organization isn’t aligning goals, you’re at a disadvantage.
Creating a vision and a set of supporting values will help you create a strong sense of team.
The best visions are short, memorable and inspirational.
If you are ready to learn how to develop a meaningful encompassing vision, keep reading. 👇
Table of Contents:
How to create an all encompassing vision
Visions are often described as the ‘skyhooks for the soul’, the igniting spark that can inspire and energize people to do better.
And a big number of organizations believe they need to start with a punchy catch-all statement for their vision which will serve as the motivation necessary to engage employees.
But, at Unicorn Labs we flip this model on it’s head and argue that this perspective needs to be changed.
An all-encompassing vision shouldn't just be a top-down approach; it should be an extensive collaborative and iterative process. Meaning, no discussions of vision can occur before all of the 5 levels that come beforehand are established to incite productive and authentic collaboration in the first place.
Once you achieve the other levels, here is how you can begin the iterative process that is an all-encompassing vision.
- Use the five whys to find the purpose of your startup
Start with a descriptive statement of what you do, “we make X products,” or “we deliver X services” and then ask, Why is that important? Five times.
After a few whys, you’ll get closer to the fundamental purpose of your organization.
- Set your timeless core values
A great company decides for itself what values to hold at its core, these are largely independent of the current environment, competitive requirements, or management fads.
These values must stand the test of time.
After you’ve drafted the first round of core values, test them out by asking, if the circumstances changed and penalized us for holding this value, would we still keep it? If the answer is yes, then it’s a core value.
Once you have gone through these two steps, you'll be closer to creating an all-encompassing vision for your team.
Purpose and core values are just the beginning, consider looking into Unicorn Labs' leadership training programs to learn how to foster a strong vision at your startup.
How to create a strategy that brings vision to action
Usually, we think of plans as linear. A linear, flat timeline.
But Amy Webb, a quantitative futurist and professor of strategic foresight at the New York University Stern School of Business, suggested that we use time cones, and not timelines to help plan for the uncertainties.
This is a great resource for this strategic planning stage.
How it works:
Start by defining the cone’s edge, using highly probable events for which there’s already data and evidence.
Typically, this can look like one to two years for tactics, two to five for strategy, five to 10 for vision and 10 plus for systems-level evolution.
Keep in mind the amount of time varies for every project and industry—typically 12 to 24 months for a project is a good place to start.
As you go further in the cone to the strategy, there are more unknowns and that's ok.
As you gain more data and evidence, you make progress on your actions, then the beginning of the cone and your tactical category is always reset in the present day.
So you're never truly planning for 20 years out.
You're essentially always doing one-year plans that are aligned with the five-year idea and the 10-year idea and the 30-year idea.
But you constantly revisit it and constantly iterate it every single year.
The result is a flexible organization.
How to create a shared company vision that will energize your entire team
Vision can be a magnetic force that draws people to it and aligns them in the same direction.
👉 Read this blog to learn how to create a shared company vision that will energize your team.
Food For Thought
Research by LSA Global found that highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster, are 72% more profitable and outperform unaligned peers in employee engagement, customer satisfaction and retainment, and leadership.