Vision in High Growth Organizations
The power of vision in the everyday cannot be understated in any organization regardless of the speed of growth. If people do not have a clear and communicable understanding of where they and their daily/weekly/monthly activities fit into the greater vision of the org, misalignment is sure to come. The reason it is so important in high growth orgs, is that the speed at which misalignment occurs is exacerbated by the fact that the amount of people, priorities and contexts is growing and shifting so quickly.
Vision provides the why to every persons what.
If you are not getting the results that you desire out of those around you, start out by assuming that the people that you have hired are competent and willing, and that you just need to help them understand the vision and where they fit into it. It is very easy to improperly assume that people are the problem, (namely: other people) because it removes the responsibility from us to address the potential root issues. What people are doing may not be what you want them to be focused on, but if they don’t understand the why (or how they fit into it), they will make inaccurate decisions about what is most important to focus on today. In high growth orgs often times it seems easier to just swap out the person since you have the money, but if the misunderstanding of the vision remains you will likely have similar results with the next person. If you are a CEO, VP, Manager, Team Lead, or anyone in any leadership position you need to be sharing the vision of where you are headed and helping those below and beside you understand how what they do impacts why you exist.
People that care about your vision want to know that what they are doing matters. The more clearly people understand why what they are doing matters, the better aligned what they do will be.
If you’ve never done this before, here is a little template for communicating this with your team: “Our vision is to be (the greatest, fastest, etc)… and this thing that you are (building/supporting/sharing/recruiting for)… matters deeply because…” (This requires you understanding why what they are doing matters, and if it really doesn’t matter, maybe you need to understand and evaluate if it is really necessary.) If you’ve never done this before, you won’t believe how peoples eyes light up when they realize what they are doing has clear, direct and valuable impact on the vision of the organization. This clarity of what-to-why helps to motivate people and encourage them in the every day.
This is not something that should happen yearly at corporate meetings and sit on the shelf, it should be the life blood for every person in the every day.
If you are responsible for creating the vision: know it, live it, and share it. If you are responsible for re-communicating the vision, make sure you understand it and where each member of your team fits into it. If you are anywhere within the organization help those around you to see the value in what they are doing today, I guarantee it will be time well invested.