Some owners believe that creating a Vision for their firm is something only business consultants do or suggest and a “not very important” exercise. They may also feel that their firm is not big or sophisticated enough to look far into the future. “We just have to get it done now!” Never mind that they have no clear definition of what “it” is.
I’d like to site 2 influential sources that think otherwise concerning the importance of developing a firm vision. In his acclaimed book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Steven Covey’s second habit is, “Begin with the end in mind.” Beginning with the end in mind is nothing more than creating the vision for how you want your firm to function and envisioning the desired outcomes. And Dr. Covey obviously thought this was important enough to be placed second in his list…only behind “Be proactive”.
In the Bible’s Old Testament, Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” This leads us to believe that the ancient leaders set forth before the people a “picture” of success. Without this picture, there was no guiding light. Without this picture, external forces could/can more likely influence future outcomes. What sounds better to you…your design for your future…or simply leaving it to chance?
What do you want your firm to be?
In order to document your vision for the firm it is important to think through just what you want the firm to be. Obviously you need to assess where the firm is now in order to begin the process of moving toward the more desired firm of your future. The more clear you are about where your firm is today, the more clear you will be with defining where you want to go. The knowledge of where you are now may take a little time to gather. Walk around a little, talk to your team…as Yogi Berra said…”You can observe a lot by watching.” Let what you discover in this fact finding mission guide you toward defining what you want the firm to be.
How to build a Vision?
Author, speaker, and business coach Cameron Herold (www.backpocketcoo.com) utilizes a visioning process that he calls his “Painted Picture”. We have adapted this painted picture approach to developing our Vision for Vista Consulting. This method involves documenting a detailed, high-level overview of what his business will look like, feel like, and act like into the future. We believe 1-3 years forward is a great target. Cameron’s painted picture includes paragraphs depicting what he and the business will be doing and some details on how it will be doing it.