As we enter 2018 and all the promise a fresh year brings, it’s the perfect time for leaders to develop their company’s Vivid Vision.
What’s a Vivid Vision? Cameron Herold, the former COO of 1-800-Got-Junk who increased revenues from $2 million to $105 million in 6 years, describes it in his book Double Double. It’s painting a picture of what your business will look, feel and act like three years down the road. It’s not about how you will get there with defined goals and metrics — we’ll save that for the strategic planning sessions with your leadership team. It’s imagining where you want your company to be in three years. To communicate this picture, you’ll need to envision success and provide ample details, using expressive language.
I recommend working on your Vivid Vision away from the office and without the distractions of emails, texts and phone calls. Someplace that will inspire you and where you can freely dream. Take an empty notebook, journal or flip chart — try painting the picture without technology!
When you’re ready, start with these questions:
- When you walk into your company three years down the road, what will you see? What will you hear? What’s the mood?
- How has your business evolved? New products or services? Have you expanded geographically?
- What does your leadership team look like? How do they operate? How would you describe the company culture? What do your team members say when you’re not around?
- What does your typical day look like? Are you in the weeds or focusing on strategy?
- Finally, how are your core values reflected in the company?
Remember: This exercise isn’t about how you will get there…it’s about positive thinking. Don’t get caught up in why it might not work. Be creative, have fun, and let your imagination flow as you dream about the company you want to become.
Once you start answering these questions, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to come up with a two or three-page document summarizing your vision. Share this with your senior leadership team to create alignment, excitement and energy. Then you will be ready to work backwards and develop the strategy that will help you reach the vision.
“Can you imagine…?”