- November 28, 2011
- Posted by: Paul Foster
- Category: Business mentality, Business vision, clarity in business, Grow a Business
Can you agree that the actions and attitudes of a business owner may contribute to some of the business problems? This consideration can be phrased using the old Greek saying, ‘when the head of the fish starts to rot’.
Put vision into action & reduce problems
Even when you have a clear vision it is still just your dream. But if you can surround yourself with good people who are passionate about the same things as you, and then lead them to act towards the vision – isn’t that the essence of entrepreneurship?
The practice of taking a vision and turning it into action is a skill that needs to be refined and practiced in order to improve it. Before we talk about implementing an easy to accomplish, short term vision, here are three reasons why a grand, pie in the sky, single, long term vision doesn’t work:
- You are likely a naturally big picture, creative and visionary thinker, but your employees are probably not – that’s why they work for you and not for themselves! Most likely your employees are saying, “I need the details, what piece of the vision can I work on? What is my to do list on this project?”
- You already shared the big picture vision before and nothing happened. The team has no confidence that anything will be accomplished.
- Your team didn’t “buy-in” or believe in your vision. Your team won’t implement your vision just for you. If they can’t be passionate about the vision for their own reasons, why should they support it?
A business has many visions and they evolve in this dynamic world. In other words, things change and the visions should also.
Creating a vision for your business
Try starting with a short term, narrowly focused vision that you and the team get passionate about. And since the word ‘vision’ can be scary, let’s just call it a ‘goal’. As an example, let’s say your grand vision was to grow to 50 employees and you currently have 4. The revised short term goal could be, “let’s hire one good mechanic in the next 30 days”.
Here are the steps
1) Formulate the goal (vision) and state your intention to yourself first – This step is simply taking the goal and committing it to paper. If you are using a journal, please write it there. Either way, write in down as clearly as possible with your reasons why you selected this particular goal.
2) Communicate the goal to your team of employees – This is when you need to be aware of how you package it. If you are the big picture person, you can certainly share your goal in a big picture way at first. Explain to your employees why you think this goal is important for the future of the business. Ask them if they agree with you. If they do, ask them to help you take action to bring it to reality. This is where you need to be prepared to get into the details.
For the mechanic example, here are some of the possible details:
a) Have one person define the minimum skill requirements for the new mechanic.
b) Have one person identify all the channels available for the search.
c) As the boss, you can decide what the pay range will be.
d) I think you get the idea.
From the employee perspective, there is a big difference between making a grand announcement about the vision of the future business and developing a detailed action plan to implement a short term goal. It is so much easier for them to contribute to one of the detailed action steps.
The final step goes back to the example of the fish head. As the ‘vision to action’ exercise unfolds, there will be hiccups and problems to address. As the leader, it is important that you keep ownership and responsibility of these problems. That doesn’t mean you can’t provide valuable feedback and suggestions to the team, it is critical that you do. All I ask is that you step back and look at the business operations as something you created and therefore you are responsible for.
As you do this, I am sure you will get many more ideas on short term goals to implement. If you can accomplish the first vision, you will now have more confidence yourself, you will have credibility with your team and they will be energized by contributing to the success of obtaining the first goal.
What a perfect time to start the process again with another short term goal. But be careful, if you get too good at this, you might actually accomplish your bigger vision after all!