Implementation Toolkit

Module 2 - Creating your vision

You have identified that things need to change within your business and you would like that change to be meaningful.

 

You understand that simply documenting your business processes into files that will be forgotten will not achieve the required results, but it will waste a lot of time and resource.

 

Successful change in an organization cannot be achieved by one person, by definition you are looking to change the behaviour of everyone - otherwise mode of operations will simply revert back to how it was before.

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Given that we need to create change, we need to provide a goal that has importance to all and a means to get there. The light at the end of the tunnel that people will naturally walk towards. A vision that can be articulated, shared and understood.

 

Why is a Vision important?

During the course of this journey, people will be asked to make decisions. Some of these will be big, some will be small, but it is impractical for every single decision to come back to you for ultimate arbitration. You should empower those involved to make decisions themselves, but you need to ensure that all these decisions are aligned to a common goal - otherwise everyone will pull in different directions and little progress will be made.

 

The purpose of the shared vision is to support your teams by allowing them to make confident decisions, in the knowledge they support the overall objective. If the overall objective isn’t clear, then they can’t possibly achieve it. Not every decision may be correct - but the important thing is that they are being made, and the effort you put into creating your vision will directly correlate with the amount of good decisions over the poor ones.

 

What is important when creating a vision?

  • It should answer the question ‘Why are we doing this?’

  • It should have meaning for everyone; from leadership to your newest employee

  • It should recognise aspects that are important for all - for example happier customers, reduced stress, less waste or empowering employees

 

What should you try to avoid?

Assuming that growth is a positive motivator for everyone - it isn’t. For some it could mean assumptions of more work or greater stress; a change they are not looking for. In others you will find it does create the expected motivation; opportunities for personal development, new challenges and a feeling of accomplishment. However, all efforts should be made to be inclusive, particularly because you need everyone onboard.

 

Don’t try to control everything. Without delegating aspects of the vision to those involved in it, you will automatically have closed off part of the team, which will create challenges further down the road as it is this team that is vital to ensuring the vision is understood and accepted.

 

What are the characteristics of a well articulated vision?

  • It should be short

  • It should be clear

  • It should be relatable

  • It should be easy to remember

  • It should provide guidance on what needs to be done


What are examples of a vision?

“Ensure that every employee is confident in their role, can improve how they work, and the comfort that their peers are achieving the same”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

What is a good framework for creating your vision?

To help you get started, you can use this boilerplate text and then evolve it to your own company language so that it resonates.

 

[What we will do] [Why we are doing it] [Who it will benefit] [What we hope this will achieve] optionally: [How can people help]

 

"We are going to standardize our operations, to improve both our service to customers and every employee’s daily life at this company. We want to reduce workplace stress, hire with less friction, and implement positive change more quickly.”

 

Good

  • Describes what we are doing and why

  • Has specifics on what you expect to see as the benefits

  • Those benefits apply to everyone

 

Could improve

  • Still long!

 

Often, there is a trigger that has started you on this journey. Considering that factor and the unique attributes of your business, will lead you to a vision that has meaning to your teams.

 

Creating a vision is rarely something that can be done in five minutes, however once refined with your team it should be repeatedly used and be demonstrably part of any future decision making process.

 

For example, you could mandate that at the end of every internal meeting it is the duty of the organizer to ask the question “What of our actions in this meeting have helped to improve the customer experience?”. If cost reduction or automation are part of your vision, similar questions can be phrased.

 

Once you have created your vision and refined it with key members of your team, it is time to get started!

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Good

  • It suggests benefit to everyone

  • It provides three objectives; ensure people are confident, they know how to provide feedback and that we have a mechanism for it, and that everyone is working together to achieve the best they can

 

Could improve

  • Quite generic

  • Rather long

  • Perhaps difficult to remember

 

“Reduce our costs by 30%, and reduce errors by 20%”

 

Good

 

Could improve

  • Has negative connotations -"are we going to reduce headcount?'"

  • Is more of an objective

  • It doesn’t give guidance on the ‘how’ this will be achieved

 

“Improve our customer’s experience by standardizing our operating procedures, and then continually improve via feedback from our staff and our customers”

 

Good

  • Makes clear the priority - the customer

  • Gives a framework for decision making; will what we do improve the customer experience?

  • Makes clear this is a journey that everyone is involved in

 

Could improve

  • Where is the benefit for the employee?

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