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Is your Vision Vivid?

One of the toughest challenges that I have faced in leading a business is communicating a Vision. Not the vision statement on the plaque in the board room. That sentence, no matter how inspiring, will not align a company. What I am referring to is the vision for all aspects of the business. How do you communicate that??

Enter Cameron Herold’s book “Vivid Vision”. Herold’s idea is that each business should create a detailed, actionable 3-year vision plan that lays out specific elements of the company vision. It’s not complicated, you start with a legal pad and write your vision for each of your departments/functions in the business. Get some feedback and then publish and share it with the team. 

And share it. 

And talk about it. 

Communication is key. 

Herold asks you to imagine that you have a general contractor who wants to build you a house. Is telling him you want a 6,000 square foot house with a nice porch and a beautiful outside landscape enough? Of course not. 

A vivid vision is a detailed vision for each department in the company as if you are already in the future. Yes, you are creating the future. Written in the present tense as if you were transported 3 years ahead. 

This is a part of our vision for Harmar’s IT department written in July 2018, as if we were in July 2021:

“Our systems environment is reliable and works flawlessly. Team members can access information wherever they are since our systems are cloud-based. We work with only high quality, established software platforms. We rarely talk about our systems as they just seem to run in the background supporting our daily work lives. Our systems make our employees more productive.” 

We also said this as part of our vision regarding our team members:

“All of our staff are the right people, and they are in the right seats. If a position isn’t an ideal fit, we work hard to find alternative opportunities. We provide opportunities for employees to move into different departments.”

Harmar’s vivid vision is 8 pages long and includes sections for IT, team members, safety, manufacturing and quality, products, marketing, customers, and sales. For each of these visions we build an action plan to support it. We aren’t going to complete them all by next July, but we are going to finish a lot. 

If you are struggling to get alignment with your staff, and want to make sure everyone knows your vision, write it down. Follow Herold’s vision guidelines. You won’t be disappointed.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there” – Lewis Carroll

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