If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there!
Today companies trying to navigate the stormy seas of competitive markets are facing extraordinary rates of change. Drive-thru expectations have met Internet access and combined to generate customers that are well informed, demanding, and have unlimited options. Organizations that succeed in the face of these winds of change are finding that a clear organizational vision is the anchor that keeps their company from drifting into oblivion. However, many companies put little effort into defining and clarifying a vision of what they strive to be. Vision is the most important component of a company’s plan, yet often the most neglected and misunderstood,. When was the last time YOU spent any time, or more a few minutes on your organizational vision?
It isn’t only for-profit businesses that are guilty of this neglect. Government agencies, non-profits, and universities struggle with this same issue. Organizations of all kinds rarely take the time to ask themselves the fundamental question “why do we exist?” Or if they do ask, the answer is defined so broadly that almost any solution fits. Sometimes, organizational leaders rationalize the lack of attention to vision, saying that the “situation or the market requires us to be broad and flexible.” In reality a failure to choose, prioritize, and stay focused often leads to a decline in organizational effectiveness.
Choosing is what leadership is all about. It isn’t the highly efficient machine that makes a company successful; rather it is the decision to buy the machine. It isn’t the fact the new sales representative has tremendous sales skills that made your sales grow, but rather the decision to hire that sales person. It isn’t the fact that the market for your product is growing like hotcakes that makes the company successful, but the fact you chose to be in that market. Decisions are what drive a company’s success. Vision, provides the guide by which sound decisions are made.