Recently we had a great webinar about creating vision for small businesses, led by Ed Kless from Sage. Ed talked about his role at Sage helping partners improve their businesses. He encourages company leaders he works with to distinguish between two types of questions when thinking about business strategy: the “How” questions vs. the “What Matters?” questions. Thinking about what matters in your business and why, and what you ultimately want to create leads to more insight about the strategy you choose. Once you have the “Why?” questions answered, the “How?” questions take care of themselves.
What are the fundamentals of the shared vision a company should create? These are principles that rarely change that answer the question: “What do we believe in as an organization?”
They consist of:
1. Principles – values of the company. These can be simple one word values, like “agility” or “honesty.”
2. Purpose – a Mission Statement. This may answer the question “Why did I come to work today?” or “Who benefits from our work?”. It should be easy to memorize.
3. Aspiration – This is a future-based goal, which can be quantitative and qualitative. Describe the future as you see it, creating a vision of what it will be like when your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) is realized.
How does a business create a shared vision? For a smaller organization, the process may involve the entire staff. For a larger company, managers should be involved who represent their teams, with feedback provided from the staff along the way. And…creation of a vision is not a marketing task. Marketing can assist with packaging and delivery once the vision is created, but a shared vision needs to be developed by the company leadership.
Learn much more about creating a vision for your business by watching the recorded webinar, or tuning in for Ed’s next session tomorrow.