Having a compelling crystal clear and extremely well communicated vision is without doubt the number 1 business growth strategy for building any successful organization irrespective of size, industry, or geography. Notwithstanding the enormous benefits organizations stand to gain from having vivid vision, the concept has been so overused, trivialized and misunderstood by many people hence the obvious confusion around the terminologies like Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) statements.
Let me begin by clarifying this confusion, and take a step further to explain how to grow businesses with the principle of a compelling clear vision.
So then, what is Mission? What is Vision? And what are Values statements?
A Mission Statement is the description of what you or your organization is meant for. It captures the purpose and primary objectives for your being, living or establishment. In other words for an organization, a mission describes the solutions you are meant to provide to your employees, customers, communities around you, and the world at large through your products and services.
Every mission must answer three basic questions about:
1. Why do we exist?
2. Whom do we serve?
3. What value or benefit do we give to our stakeholders, communities and the world?
A Vision Statement describes where the organization wants to be (when it grows up), and the directions it would take to get there. Vision statements paint vivid image of how the future will look when the organization and its employees get there in such a way that everyone knows well in advance and recognizes it when they get there.
Vision is futuristic; it is the dream or image leaders have in the mind’s eye about what their organizations will be say 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years from today.
Values Statements are different. They are the fundamental beliefs, behaviors, and commitments that organizations agree to abide by. Unlike mission and vision, values are not created; they evolve from the character and behaviors of both leaders and employees within the organization and are the codes of conduct by which the business is built.
For example, an organization’s values may be honesty, integrity, professional development, transparency, or customer satisfaction. These written codes define how each person within the organization behaves to one another in the course of executing their tasks. It is important to understand that while most organizations tolerate errors and mistakes that often occur in their day-to-day business execution processes by employees, any violation of one aspect of its values can be viewed very seriously by senior management as breach of a fundamental code of conduct, and can be severely punished.
How then can a clear vision lead to business growth?
May be you are still wondering how to grow a business and increase profitability by simply having clear compelling vision. Well, as I said earlier, vision is the inspiring picture of what transformational leaders and everyone else in their organization is working so hard to accomplish together. It is the reason they go to work everyday, the impact they want to make to their customers and the world.
Many businesses struggle because they lack clear vision, and those that have it fall down completely when it comes to what they do with it. True vision reflects the products and services you want to create for your customers. It defines the benefits you and your business will be remembered for, and also the strategies and various ways you can go about creating them.
Develop A Shared Vision
For your vision to be truly effective; it has to be shared with your people. Visions are shared when the ideas are clearly and consistently communicated for everyone to see and understand. The reason many leaders do not make significant positive impact in their organizations is because no one else sees the vision they see. When no one understands where you’re going, they will be unwilling to follow you, and a leader with no follower cannot grow any organization.
A Shared vision energizes teams and employees to perform with more enthusiasm and coordination. Nothing grows an organization faster than having inspired employees and teams who are moving in one coordinated direction to achieve common goals. This movement occurs only when leaders help their followers to see their own individual future in the mission, vision, and values of the organizations they work for.
No matter how compelling and clear your vision may be, if you do not over-communicate it to your world, it will never be achieved. Shared vision brings focus and holds the people accountable. It gives a sense of security and direction to employees who believe that their own future are fulfilled when they accomplish their company’s objectives.
So engaging your employees and teams regularly about the future of your organization (the Vision) will keep them constantly motivated and aligned with you and your objectives. This is a key leadership skills development you must acquire. You can achieve this by sending monthly email broadcasts, newsletters, or posting them on your websites; notice boards, or as screen savers on your company’s laptops and desktops.
Nkem Mpamah is CEO of Cognition Global Concepts, Cambridge. Nkem will help you grow your business, increase productivity & profit by at least 30% in year 1. He also works with teams to align their objectives with company’s missions, visions, & values to build a successful business.