If you have no vision you can’t begin to achieve it. These 10 tips explore how we can articulate our business vision and begin to work towards it.
Companies are shaped by leaders, understanding leadership ambition shapes what we can do. We can define culture and values but if the leadership team does not instil these through the business then nothing will change. Only by changing behaviours can we actually begin to move forwards.
Business decisions are shaped by personalities, understanding how teams think drives planning. On face value the leadership team may appear to agree on future direction but until we understand individual motivations we struggle to enact change. For example, employee flexible working could be introduced but if key line managers have trust concerns and call staff working remotely every 2 hours this creates more problems.
Identify your Market
Knowing who we exist to serve allows us to tailor your strategy. Many business leaders take an in-out approach and do not place enough consideration on the customer. Understanding why businesses and individuals buy products is key to serving them. If we retain customers because of service delivery then this needs to be a focal point across the business to re-enforce the message.
Understand what you Deliver
Engaging customers provides insight into their purchasing decisions and loyalty. Not enough companies talk customers – most are embarrassed to in fact – by understanding the customer we can provide a better service and also tailor new product development to their needs. This can take the form of feedback services or better yet face to face meetings.
Creating a supportive culture ensures that the wider team support our vision. We can’t define a culture, we have to create actions and behaviours to develop it. For example, ‘supportive’ means nothing if we don’t create management actions and deliverables. Many companies assume that employee perks build a good culture but that is simply not the case.
Profits and People
A pure focus on profits will alienate the workforce and restrict growth. Whilst we are generally all in business to create money, our employees contribute to that and we must not lose sight of the fact people are not commodities. Putting an enthesis on people and engaging them with our vision will improve job satisfaction leading to better productivity. For example, an employee who clocks in and out for a pay check will not come to us with new ideas or developments that would evolve the business.
Consumers are more concerned around business practices than ever before. This applies to everything from the supply chain to the working environment we create. Doing the right thing may not always be the cheapest option but will create a reputation that people buy into and agree with. Plastic waste is a case in point, companies are losing customers if they do nothing to reduce their environmental footprint. This also breeds innovation which can create new USPs.
Short Term Targets
Cashflow remains key and delivering long term growth requires a solid foundation. Business goals are unachievable if we don’t create steps to get us there, every business book talks about this but in practice it is harder to apply. Rather than taking board room responsibility we can look at empowering members of the team to take accountability and deliver which will increase their engagement and also the likelihood of action being taken.
Long Term View
Most business change their long term perspective as the world moves around them. In a fast changing landscape businesses rarely ‘reach their goals’, instead we set a long term view which we work towards through our short term actions. Re-visiting this view on an annual/biannual bias enables us to adapt and evolve rather than focus on an obsolete objective.
Once we understand what we are here to deliver we can build a successful strategy. The above are the factors that we consider most important when defining your business strategy. Rather than being a dirty word strategy should be an opportunity to evolve and grow. It can be hard work but should not become a chore that occupies all our time, creating one or two action points can make a real difference to the organisation.
Helping business leaders articulate their vision is just one area that we provide support with; we work with you to identify opportunities in the business and help design and implement your strategic plan for growth.