Many organizations are in the process of planning for the next year—or even the next several years.
The leaders’ “strategic planning meetings” are an exercise in defining (or refining) the direction of the organization. It’s where they establish (or fine-tune) their goals, strategies, and actions on how to get there.
Having facilitated dozens of these meetings, I found the biggest stumbling block for most leaders happens at the beginning—setting the vision for a clear direction going forward. The vision is the component of the planning process that’s meant to inspire everyone in the entire organization.
The biggest problem, though, is getting everyone engaged and excited about the future.
Evaluate how inspiring your vision is for those you lead, and then make it better.
A good (albeit risky) way to make your vision inspiring is to randomly ask people in your organization these questions:
• What is our company’s current vision?
• Why is having a vision important?
• What is one thing you’re involved in that contributes to our overall vision?
If employees are unable to enthusiastically respond to these questions, it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. Chances are, you’re missing opportunities to communicate your vision clearly.
You may be thinking, “So what? Who cares?”
Before answering, consider these words from the late Steve Jobs: “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Don’t stumble. Instead, create a clear, concise, and inspiring vision that will be motivating for everyone.