For many people, the idea of spending time on updating the organization’s vision sounds like a waste of time. It can be perceived as a “check the box” type of activity. Once it is complete, it may not be reviewed. Executives, leaders and business employees often place a much higher value on activities associated with execution and focus time on getting things done. Activities associated with execution are often measurable, discrete and are a way of obtaining progress. Time spent on visioning can make executors feel like they are spinning their wheels and not making much progress.
The problem with this perspective is that without a clear vision statement, the activities of the organization can be unorganized. The objectives to which the organization is moving toward and measuring itself may not be clear, and therefore activities may not be coordinated to long term objectives. This is often seen in organizations where multiple discussions happen on the same issue, where meetings do not end on time, and when there is a lack of decision making and progress toward long term objectives.
Vision Statements Help Anchor Your Focus
An effective vision statement helps guide organizations with laser-like focus toward the activities that will help them achieve their long term objective. These statements provide the destination and compass for guiding resource tradeoffs that the organization will inevitably have to make along its journey. Effective vision statements also help individual employees when they much make choices about how to spend their time so that they can take actions that are in alignment with where the organization wants to go.
Vision Statements Help Resource Allocation Decisions
When a vision statement has been shared with employees, it assists greatly in the allocation of resources. It can also aid decision making when presented with two or more options or courses of action that can be decided on. Employees can ask themselves, “which option or path forward is in stronger alignment with the direction that we are headed?” In this respect, vision statements also shape what employees and leaders think about and how they approach their work on a daily basis. An effective vision helps to unify employees to a mutually agreed upon future state.
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