The biggest danger to a vision is that only a small group of people are aware of it, let alone support it, and in these instances that vision never comes to fruition and nothing actually changes.
To communicate the vision, it must be driven deep into the organisation and across to all its outermost reaches. Every office in every region must be equally in support of the same vision.
This is one of the primary reasons why people in small organisations find it easier to grasp the ‘vision thing’ than those in larger organisations. There is less chance of it being tarnished by ‘Not Invented Here’ or corrupted by the chain of communication.
Repetition breeds awareness, acceptance and understanding of your vision. Lee Iacocca’s historic vision for Chrysler was not only trumpeted internally to managers and staff, but also constantly repeated to people outside the organisation.
The vision became a central theme in much of the company’s advertising. Iacocca used every opportunity to share it with consumers, suppliers and shareholders. He even spoke about it on the floor of the US Congress. By doing so, he ensured that it influenced a great number of people, which in turn helped Chrysler achieve its business goals.
This repetition and consistency in the communication of the vision was a critical component of Chrysler’s turnaround and success. Vision, therefore, should be worked into as many situations in the workplace as possible. It should also be integrated into as many communication channels as possible:
- Business presentations
- Training events
- New employee inductions
- Written communications – reports, letterheads, emails
- Annual appraisals
- Business plans at all levels
- Advertising and marketing campaigns
Senior executives should use every opportunity available to share the vision and to act in a manner consistent with it. People, both inside and outside the organisation, will notice when the vision is truly being lived by watching the actions of the business leaders. They can talk the talk but if they don’t walk the walk those words will be meaningless and they will lose respect in a heartbeat.
Effective alignment of behaviours to a vision can be seen when a visitor to your organisation could drop in and infer your vision without having to read it on paper, solely by observing the actions and behaviours of you and your staff.
Everyone, directors, managers and staff alike, must model behaviours that are consistent with the organisation’s vision. It is through such actions that all members of the business will believe in and live a meaningful manifestation of the vision.
Once all stakeholders share and live the vision, an environment of true alignment with the vision will exist and this will drive the business toward its goals.
The sense of shared vision will guide people’s behaviour and their expectations and will also be self-reinforcing and self-motivating. Once the leader establishes a sense of shared vision within his or her business, not only will the business benefit, but all the members of the team will benefit also.
Post courtesy of People Alchemy – to get your free trial of the Alchemy for Managers online resource visit http://www.peoplealchemy.co.uk/catalyst