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Defining and sharing your creative vision helps you clarify your aims, boost motivation and drive your business forward.
Developing a vision for your organisation is essential for motivating people. It ensures everyone is clear about the future, keeps people focused on the same values and gives your team a shared direction.
The vision is a key part of your business planning and shows the big picture, so your team understand what’s expected of them and why. Your objectives are a valuable tool in helping people understand the steps they need to take, to achieve the vision.
Step 1. Understand where you are now
To know where you want to go, it’s useful to fully understand your current context. You may wish to review your organisation by conducting both a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental) analysis.
Step 2. Find out where you want to go
The next step is to identify your long-term aims, your organisational purpose and the values that drive your business. It may help you to answer the following questions as a team:
Where do we want our organisation to be in the long-term?
The long-term could be a year, three years, five years or more, whichever feels right for you. Answering this question will help you generate a long-term aim. An example of a long-term aim would be: “We want to be recognised as number one in our region through our four retail outlets and with a 40 per cent share in our market.”
What do we want clients and people who hear about our organisation to say about us?
Answering this question will help you define your purpose, an example of which would be: “We want our customers to wish all their suppliers were as reliable and committed as our organisation”.
What are the key principles and values that will guide our organisation to achieve our long-term aim and purpose?
Your values will help you identify the way in which you will achieve your aims, for example: “We will achieve our aims by treating customers as individuals, not numbers, by listening to customer requirements, increasing and developing new ranges, and providing value for money”.
In order for them to understand and commit to the organisation’s values, you will need to involve your people throughout the process. Great ideas can come from all parts of your team.
Step 3. Share your vision
Once you have agreed a vision (the answers to the questions above will help you) produce an easily understood summary and share it throughout your organisation
- Make your vision clear and concise. Everyone needs to understand it, so use language everyone can access, not business jargon. You could take the challenge of producing a one-page overview to sum up your vision
- Use colour and images to enhance your vision. You might want to ask someone with design skills to help you make the messages stand out
- Share your vision everywhere you want your team to see it. Consider including it on posters, screensavers, newsletters, websites, payslips, noticeboards, on stationery and in your people handbooks
Your vision will provide the basis for your objectives and wider business planning, so keep it central to everything you do. Find out more about how you can involve your people in developing your vision, using your vision to create objectives and its role in developing your business plan.