Creating the Vision for your business

If you have read the previous three blogs for 2023, it has taken you on a journey to explore the topic of Operational Excellence and understanding what this actually means. This is critical to be able to translate this into a clear decision to start a journey to establish a culture of excellence.  Once this decision is made, then understand the role of a leader to make this process as successful as possible. A lot of stuff happens at the beginning and it needs to.  This right leadership mindset and support is critical for future success. The more time invested here will increase the chances of great stuff happening in the future.  Remember, you haven’t had the chance to discuss this with the wider team yet.

Don’t be worried that this is taking a lot longer than anticipated, all this means is that you as a business leader are creating a solid foundation for the journey ahead. 

What does setting the vision mean? I want to stress the importance that this is not about creating a vision statement. These are useful, but they are generally vague and become white noise on the entrance way walls.  When I talk about vision, what does it actually mean we we talk about:

  • What does success look like in 2 years?

  • What are the components of outstanding customer experience?

  • What are the attributes of the ideal leadership?

  • What is the perfect project - from a customer perspective

Achieving absolute clarity on topics like these are vital for both the leadership team and wider staff. After all it should be this compelling vision that drives decision making, skill requirements and even the company organisation.  Everything should be orientated to achieve this vision. In my humble opinion, it is OK to have specific ‘visions’ for the different aspects of the business. The more detailed these stories can be, the clearer they become for the whole team to set actions towards them. 

You can start off with the top leadership team to set the broad ‘vision’, for example “What does success look like for the team”. Gather the key themes from this process and then engage the wider team, get their involvement and interpretation on the different themes until there is clear connection between actions planned for the next day and how it aligns with the vision set by the team.

This part of the operational excellence process provides organisations an awesome opportunity to step up their employee engagement. We know from previous research, improving the engagement of staff itself lifts the performance of a business. In fact, creating a strong vision improves the organisational culture.  It is having a clear vision and a strong strategy. 

I personally love the use of LEGO® Serious Play® to play a huge role in this process.  It is a chance to get 100% engagement of the whole team.  Not only being able to identify the core elements of what is important to organisational success, but also translate the attributes identified into stories that can be repeated, hold meaning to all staff members.  This is so much more powerful than just a few words on a wall.

The power of Storytelling is an under-utilised tool in business success.  The process to achieve effective narration of a company vision or strategy can provide significant advantages to those who invest the time and effort to achieve this level of understanding.  It is  not just putting words on a flash poster on a wall, or producing a high quality document filled with facts, figures and biassed graphs.  It provides everyone an opportunity to understand the core elements that everyone is on board with.  If this is to become an integral part of who you are as a business, it needs to infiltrate the culture and DNA of the organisation.

It is never recommended that short cuts are taken during any part of this journey. Engaging your team and creating a clear vision is certainly one area where cutting corners is a definite no go. It will take longer than expected, but the results are worth it! 

The next step is all about translating the story of the vision into tactical actions, figuring out how to keep the discussion alive every day, every week. Until then, spend time talking to team members, getting a true insight into how the vision has been received, any concerns and potential barriers.  Seeking this feedback through regular Gemba Walks is a key part of the whole process.  This is a last chance to fine tune the direction and actions in the future.


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