Often people approach me about working with their organziations to solve a particular set of problems they have: product delivery is too slow, the product has quality issues, there’s a lack of alignment between departments or branches, they complain about a lack of innovation, or they need a new team that builds a new and better product to replace the mediocre ones they already have out there.
To better understand the context I usually ask them about their organization’s vision and values. Very often there’s no clear vision statement, and the answer goes along the lines of “become profitable”, “make money for the investors”, “become #1 in our target market” or simply prepare an exit. And All these statements may appear to be perfectly valid goals, to top brass who probably have bonuses attached to reaching those goals, but is not a vision to inspire anyone else in the organization. When I dig deeper, I often find that employee turnover is pretty high, and finding talent is becoming increasingly difficult. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, I see that as a direct consequence of the lack of vision: A clear and shared vision is a vital ingredient for sustainable success, because it allows a people to align towards a common goal, a brighter future they all want to be part of creating. A strong vision decouples success from the abilities of “managers” to “motivate”, and enables everyone to make smarter decisions and point out conflicts.