When deliberating upon factors most conducive to a successful business, there are few points more meaningful than that of effective communication. This is far from a new subject, even in conventional business circles; however, we believe that as standards and expectations rise with an executive through the ranks, so must the complexity of your understanding of core concepts and methods. To have a phenomenal and dynamic corporate plan is one thing; it is entirely another to be able to shape and share that vision so that it materializes in the minds of the crucial team members that will be working together to bring it about. As the leader (even if the plan itself is fundamentally collaborative) it is still in your hands to not only illustrate the plan cohesively, but you must also inspire your team to get that creative energy required for a true vision.
Now, getting into the foundation of it all, our first step is to develop a well-fleshed-out vision statement.
A corporate vision statement is an overview, summary, and precursor rolled into one powerhouse delivery which, if done correctly, can be one of the most dynamic and powerful tools at your disposal for decision-making at every strategic juncture of operations, from rollout to closing.
We’re going to take a quick step back to make a key distinction that is often a bit muddled: The difference between a proper vision statement and the company’s mission statement. The distinction is one of focus and it breaks down fairly simply: A mission statement pertains to what is, while a vision statement seeks to shape what will be.
To develop a solid vision statement that is truly effective, it must in turn be crafted by as many guiding perspectives at the highest level of the company. Therefore, it’s recommended that you seek out and redraft as many times as needed to get a truly cross-sectional statement from all the leading players; such as your board and stakeholders, as well as department heads and management personnel.
Now that we have our definitions lined up, it’s time to hit the collaborative drawing board with some of these tips firmly in mind:
Project: This is about the future, so think ahead creatively and with gusto. Where in your team’s wildest dreams do you want to be in five years? How about ten?
Clarity: Remember, your vision statement has to not only be comprehensible, but inspiring. You want to engage your team every bit as much as challenge them (and yourself).
Progressive: In keeping with the purpose of the vision, use strong and active language. Nothing in your vision statement should be remotely passive.
Finally, don’t be afraid to challenge your statement. In fact, this is how you go from draft to cohesion, with constructive input and evolution-based critique. Putting your vision through the grindstone will inevitably lead to a stronger and more stable whole, every time. Above all, avoid the dross of carbon-copied language and buzzwords. Your vision needs to present clear emotional content: A complicated goal when dealing wholly with pre-established corporate cultures.
Equally vital, is that you know precisely who you’re targeting. A statement crafted around an IT organization is going to be markedly different from that of a marketing agency, and understandably so.
In the end, the astute executive emerges from this process as more effective leader, on all fronts.
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