I’ll admit it, I used to think the start of thinking about the future strategy of the business was to get the vision stuff and mission statements sorted. Then there would be some sort of trickle down effect in to the more detailed plans. Plus the aspirational words in those mission statements would gel everybody into a single drive of enthusiasm.
This article made me smile and reinforced where my thinking is nowadays.
How wrong was I back then? Maybe I was just going with the management-thinking flow at the time. You will have seen what I mean….. businesses that want to be the best in their industry, or deliver exceptional customer service, etc. In reality many of the businesses I meet would probably be much happier with a vision that is about always doing a reasonable job for a satisfied customer.
No! It’s just that there’s a time and place for putting effort into doing them.
Consider the following situations….
The business has unclear processes – people just know what happens in their team and don’t understand the consequences of their activities across the business. There aren’t any clearly understood metrics of how the business is performing, especially on the shop floor.
People across the business use different terms for the same thing or fall into using acronyms that others don’t understand. People always seem to be asking about or checking details about a customer order because their team or department don’t have all the necessary information to do their job.
Finally, too many people across the business have no idea where the business is going this year, never mind in 5 years!
If you feel even the slightest bit like you can relate to any of them, why would it seem good sense to go off and develop a vision or mission statement? Surely the more important thing to do is focus on the year in hand and sort out the basics of clarity such as:
I guarantee that addressing those basics of clarity will be far more positive and make a real bottom-line impact than drafting some visionary words to put up on the wall.