Martin Luther King famously said “I have a dream” not “I have a plan”. So before we start talking about plans and strategies, let’s talk about dreams. About vision.
Do you have a vision for your organisation?
When you close your eyes and think about the potential of your organisation, of all you want it to achieve and be, what does that look like? More importantly, what does it feel like?
When I launched Audacious Creative seven years ago I had no clue how to run a business and most of my early success was, in part, down to luck rather than judgment or experience. But the one thing I did that I still hold on to is the vision document I wrote on that first day. I sat down and had a dream. It was full of big hopes and dreams, but it was also crammed full of the kind of business I wanted to run – the values and ethos that continues to underpin the business to this day. On my first day, the words I wrote were these: “Our purpose is to make a difference in the lives of our clients so they can make a bigger difference in the lives of others. It will never be about the money. Our aim is to deliver true excellence and we place a high value on quality relationships.” I’ve not always been able to deliver on that but that is still the overarching vision for the company and it will continue to be so.
You see, a vision is not a plan. It’s not a strategy. It’s not a do list or set of aims and objectives. Vision is about passion, heart, soul, the fire in your gut that keeps you pursuing something greater. Vision is often intangible but it’s vital to the health and wellbeing of your organisation. It’s the thing that keeps you going when your back’s against the wall. It’s the thing that keeps you awake at night. The thing that drives you forward, onwards and upwards. That’s vision.
So I ask you again: have you got a vision for your organisation?
I’m sure you do – but what is it? What’s your dream? Without that dream, the plan you’ll be working on over the next few weeks will all be for naught. There’s a proverb that says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” and it’s very true. If your strategy just comes from the head it will not get you very far. But inject some passion and soul into the plan and it will come to life. Vision is the rain that feeds the soil of our plans.
So your challenge this week is this: write down your vision for your organisation. Get it out of your head and onto paper. Make it a tangible reality- in black and white. And let it breathe life into the plans you are going to make for next year and beyond.