What does it mean to have a vision in business?
By TRISOFT team
Whenever a business crumbles, you will always hear someone say that “it lacked vision”. Perhaps it’s true, but what exactly does that refer to? It’s such an indefinite description and all-encompassing term that it should be analyzed more closely.
A vision is a vivid mental image of something that you would like for the future. It is more than just a goal, but rather the embodiment of hopes, dreams and aspirations in a certain domain; an idea of what has not happened yet, but may and should hopefully come to pass at some point. It encompasses the goals and objectives that someone wants to attain or carry out mid- or long-term. It helps us grow and improve, and offers us glimpses of what might come.
In business, having a clear and definite vision is essential. It gives everyone focus and prevents them from heading in the wrong direction. It serves as a clear guide for current and future courses of action.
The leader knows it
The fact that a leader has a larger perspective over things gives employees a clear sense of purpose and inspires enthusiasm, loyalty and confidence. Visions backed by passion and drive create genuine efforts toward achieving great results. The vision may even change a bit along the way, but as long as the leader continuously shares the new forms and principles of the vision, employees can jump onboard, adapt and adjust, then jump to action.
First of all, when a vision is defined within a company, it unifies people, brings them together under a common interest, goal or gathering point, they feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and are willing to contribute toward making the dream come true.
Secondly, powerful visions have a strong motivational impact on everyone within the company. They inspire energy and enthusiasm, increasing commitment and determining engagement. In times of trial, it reminds everyone why they started in the first place and why they should keep going.
When defining your own vision statement, the most important aspect is positivity and fearlessness. Challenges and difficulties limit one’s goals and successful results. However, you must never be afraid to dream big. Providing specific and detailed guidelines, which clarifies purpose and direction, and is delivered in an understandable language, will surely lead toward a high standard of excellence and performance. Plan exactly how your dream will become reality, and if you need to, set everything on paper. Even if reality sometimes proves different than what you had expected or planned for, make sure that you don’t give up and continue pursuing your objective.
What does it mean to be the best?
A statement such as “I want my business to make a profit” or “I want to have the best company in the world, in my domain of choice” are not adequate vision statements — they lack inherent desires and passions, and are too general. What does it mean to be the best company? How is that measured? How much profit is enough to render a company productive? The affirmation should be concrete and strong enough to carry the organization through to the end, overcoming obstacles and setbacks, while helping workers persevere and achieve results. It should be a constant reminder of the fact that you shouldn’t be jumping from task to task, from project to project, without a clear end game in mind and without understanding what actually bonds individuals together and what links actions to strategic goals. The measures and steps everyone takes should originate in a clear understanding of the value they will create in the overall process of attaining the vision.
The company management’s vision should preferably become ingrained in the entire workplace and manifested in the actions, beliefs, values and ambitions of leaders, as well as employees. Everyone must share the same foresight and collaborate toward a common ideal.
The foundation of a business may sometimes become lost underneath all the everyday tasks and activities necessary for making it work. People forget what and why they set out to accomplish, and that may affect the path that the company takes, while striving to become efficient. Every business is started for a reason, there is always a purpose, and it is the leader’s job to not let it be forgotten or dismissed.
Visions are important for any organization. They are motivational reminders that keep everyone working toward a common interest or goal. With the right foundation and correct steering, direction and work culture, ethics and policies, no vision is unattainable.
A vision must answer two fundamental questions: “Where are we going?” and “How will we get there?” Make sure that the response is expressed in plain English, it is spirited, dynamic and memorable, says a lot in a few words, is realistic, it describes the best and most desired outcome and helps build a clear picture in people’s minds. You can even turn it into a motto, have it printed and posted on the walls of company offices, hallways or at the entrance to the building.
At TRISOFT, we dig how John Graham expertly summarized the topic: “You’ve got to give yourself the freedom to dream — to use your imagination to see and feel what does not yet exist. A vision is not the same as goals or objectives; those come from the head. A vision comes from the heart.”