How Do You Create a Shared Company Vision?

Try running this exercise with your leadership team: It’s 10 years from now. You are celebrating the achievement of your vision with the whole company. You are going to deliver a speech to everyone saying how you achieved the vision and what the company did to get there (business growth, clients, partnerships, your people, marketing, the values and behavior we lived, etc.). Write this speech based on your understanding of what we need to achieve over the coming years and read it at your next management meeting.

Ian Windle
Godalming, United Kingdom
Vistage Chair since 2012

1. We established a clear, original one-sentence mission statement.
2. We always have a higher purpose. Our mission has to be about helping people first. Financial goals are important for fueling growth, but are in fact a result of great execution toward the vision.
3. Overcommunicate. We pass out a half-page sheet with our mission and yearly objectives to everyone in the company. We review and refer to it constantly.
4. We instill ownership by empowering our team to create their own goals that roll up to the bigger vision.
5. Meet regularly. We have a leadership meeting every week and full company meeting every month. We strive to create an interactive environment where everyone is encouraged to ask questions.

Michael Kehoe
President, DreamBrands / Mdrive
Phoenix, AZ
Vistage member since 2019

I determined my own lack of clarity around the company’s vision created struggles with accountability and focus within our organization. I wrote and shared my three-year Vivid Vision to define “what” Email on Acid is going to be and “what” we are going to do. I purposefully defined the “what” and left out the “how” so the executive team could work with their functional groups on determining the “how.”

We have now defined specific KPIs that track toward the Vivid Vision and discuss them on a monthly basis. The result is more focus, determination, ownership, autonomy, accountability and alignment in achieving shared goals.

John Thies
CEO, Email on Acid
Greenwood Village, CO
Vistage member since 2016

Always explain the “why.” When I can explain in detail what drives customers to us, especially in the form of a compelling story, then I’ve got buy-in.

Mark Hiskey
President and Co-Founder, ILIO Enterprises, LLC
Westlake Village, CA
Vistage member since 2016

A vision should ideally be stated in three to seven words, so that it is memorable. It must also be actively driven in the organization. Give a consistent presentation several times over the course of one to two years, and ensure leadership owns and lives the vision visibly, through action.

Matthew Todd
EOS Implementer, Pac Crest Business Engineering
Yacolt, WA
Vistage member since 2017

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