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Create an inspiring corporate vision

Create an Inspiring Corporate Vision

For millennia great leaders have known the power of a few well-chosen words. To the cynical, that’s all a corporate vision is: words.

To the informed, almost every major achievement started in the mind of one person, and was expressed in a few well-chosen words, a crafted corporate vision, which then inspired the performance necessary for the realisation of the vision.

Those leaders capable of giving birth to an inspiring vision find their lives and achievements outstripping their peers. Achievement comes in many forms. You’re reading this article; that means you are an achievement focused, potential or actual organisational leader, so you know this to be true:

management and leadership (whether at work, home, or leisure) are about getting others to want to perform well. Those who have developed and use that ability rise to the top.

Experience has probably taught you that most companies fail to unite or align their staff behind a single inspiring call, or compelling corporate vision, and you have certainly seen the consequences of that.

If you knew what it took to create an inspiring, or compelling corporate vision, what could you achieve? At very least you would bring out the best in your staff.

Some leaders have a 100% success record: All of their visions produce the required results.

The Perfect Vision Book CoverWhat? Why? How can they possibly achieve that level of success when most, the overwhelming majority of leaders, either fail to produce ANY corporate vision, or one so poor that it has the opposite effect to that intended?

What are those inspirational leaders doing right? What are they doing that is different?

Firstly, they know and really understand the characteristics of an inspirational corporate vision.

Secondly, they know what kinds of visions to form, and how to craft them for the desired effect.

If your corporate vision can secure just 1% better performance per day from your staff than your competitors can from theirs, how long will it be before YOU are clearly in the lead?

Great leaders understand that a small difference in performance today, builds on the tiny advantage of yesterday. Before long they have acquired a massive, cumulatively advantage that all leaders dream of for their tomorrows.

You’ve no doubt seen many organisation set visions that are… ehm…  (let’s be diplomatic)… less than crafted.

Why do so many leaders get vision formation so badly wrong?

There are five main reasons.

1. Most people believe that their driving standard is above average. Most people have strong opinions on education, even though they have never studied it. In the same way, some leaders have strong opinions on how to form visions even though they have never studied vision formation, as an art and skill, at all, let alone, in depth. “My vision formation skills are above average.”

2. Many leaders think that when they sit down to create a vision that: “It will be all right on the night.” Hopefully. Do you really want the single most important act that you undertake as a leader to depend on blind baseless hope? Of course not! If you understand the principles of vision formation well enough to KNOW how to create the calibre of vision that will deliver for you, you won’t have to depend on hope.

3. Leaders who fail to set an inspirational vision are not stupid or incompetent: far from it. They are committed and determined, and just as smart as you and I, and are sincerely trying to add as much value as possible.

Until now, there has been next to nothing on how to create an inspirational, aligning and uniting vision. Most leaders have had to rely on hit and miss. They simply didn’t really know how to create a vision that would align, unite and focus their organisations.

4. For others, with no knowledge and no guidance, the art of corporate vision formation seemed too complex. All things seem complicated until we understand the simple principles behind the apparent complexity. Vision formation is just the same: what was once complicated and beyond reach, becomes simple, understandable and do-able with full awareness of the underlying principles. World-class vision formation is now within your grasp. Even more encouragingly, there are only a handful of key principles you must apply to create the kind of inspirational vision that transforms organisations, and, for the first time, they have been documented and are now available to you.

5. Machiavellian thinkers deliberately set no vision. Their thinking goes like this: “If your opponents don’t know what you want to achieve they cannot oppose you.” Straight out of ‘The Prince.’ If you have a “leader” who has secured their role by playing the political game, a compelling vision is unlikely ever to emerge.

How much can a great corporate vision bring you?

Assuming you are not part of the 5th reason, just how much can a great vision bring you? Every great achievement started as a vision in the mind of one person. Every day, millions of leaders have visions for great achievements; only a handful of leaders know how to make that vision inspiring to others.

Make sure that you are one: one of the leaders who has the full tool kit to turn a potential great achievement into an ACTUAL great achievement. Turn ‘it would be nice to have our people aligned behind a vision’ into, ‘it’s amazing to see our people working together to achieve our common vision!’

When the next round of performance figures comes your way, how do you want to feel about your leadership? You have the chance to make sure that your vision unites, aligns and inspires your staff.

Great leaders create a corporate vision that is so clear and so inspiring that people positively insist on helping you to achieve it.

You know from your own experience what it feels like to be striving towards an inspirational vision. You bounce out of bed in the morning, with your head full of ideas to achieve. When you encounter problems you have a strong sense of ‘we can find a way around this’. Your bond with those who share your vision is strong. Petty politics fade away. It feels great!

You can imagine what it would have been like working in the NASA of the 1960s, where everyone was focused on one goal: to put mankind on the moon. You can feel the thrill. What could you achieve when you’ve created a vision that makes your staff feel that inspired? Leaders who can lead people to achieve an inspirational vision are promoted to higher and higher positions.

No amount of management effort can overcome the wrong vision, or a bad vision, or no vision. By contrast, much less management is needed when an inspiring vision is in place: you can save effort, and make better use of effort; save time, make better use of time.

Lack of vision increases the need for command and control

In organisations without a clear and inspiring corporate vision leaders have to put in place tight command and control mechanisms. You’ve seen the effect of that; highly motivated people with exceptional levels of initiative depart, in droves, and that leaves the people who wont do anything until they are specifically directed to do so, and even then, when they encounter a difficulty (as is inevitable) they stop in their tracks until they get their next piece of direction.

Leaders who operate such command and control systems spend most of their time doing things that, frankly, leaders ought not to be doing. 

Vicious or virtuous cycle – both started by a few words

If you’ve ever suffered such an organisation you will know how self-defeating and wasteful they become, and what their self-established vicious cycle eventually holds for them. Once the cycle has begun it takes on a destructive life of its own.

Contrast that with an organisation headed by a leader who has the skill to craft a few well chosen words; an inspirational vision.

Staff come to work with total clarity of what they want to achieve. They are motivated and when they encounter problems, (as is inevitable) they have the crystal clarity of the vision to give them the guidance that they need, all without any input required from any manager. That frees managers to achieve the multitude of more important things that they should be attending to, which of course, in turn, means that the organisation, overall, performs better, which, in turn, means you can attract more high performing, high initiative staff… a virtuous cycle.

Once the cycle has begun it takes on a life of its own, and such organisations rise to the top, taking their leaders with them.

Which kind of organisation do you want to lead? What kind of cycle do you want to put in place?

Reduce costs on wasted labour

The more your staff are united and focused on one inspiring vision the less labour will be wasted.

You’ve been in organisations that do not have a uniting vision; you know the range of damaging effects that has; you’ve seen the thousands of hours of wasted labour time as people argue about what to do, or worse still, where some go off in one direction, while others choose the opposite. You’ve probably seen worse than that: a multitude of covert goals emerging, Machiavelli style, with each being led by a different functional head. You know how damaging that is, you know how much it costs, (5-40% of your labour costs) and you know the fate of an organisation so afflicted. Make sure none of that squander happens in your organisation by pitting in place and inspirational and compelling vision.

Your relationships will be better, too!

Effective working relationships are based on a common purpose. The stronger and more inspiring that common purpose, that compelling the corporate vision, the better the working relationships.

Millions of leaders, all over the world, spend vast amounts of money every year, trying to drive forward their companies without a clear vision.  Why would you spend that kind of money when the techniques to create an inspiring, uniting and aligning vision are easily learned, and so inexpensive to implement? Why? Lack of knowledge of what is possible. You now know what is possible and that the techniques to achieve it are available.

If you wish to create a compelling and inspirational vision to lead your company contact PsyPerform.

Please note: The techniques of vision creation covered in The Perfect Vision are only available to PsyPerform clients.

Copyright 2016 Prof Nigel MacLennan