What’s the point of a vision for a business and why should we create it in the first place?
So often we hear these questions and the reason to create a vision for a business is without it, it’s extremely difficult to hire great people, retain those all-stars, and hit the goals you’re working towards. It’s human nature to want to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves and without a vision, you can’t get there. If your team is walking in just to do a job, then that’s exactly what they are going to do. Come in, punch a clock, and go home. As a business leader, your job is to rally the team around a direction — where we are going, we’re all going there together, and when we get there it’s going to be amazing.
Here at MountainSeed, we used to think, how can an appraisal management company really have a vision. We just do appraisal ordering, reviews, and appraisal management, but our thinking back then couldn’t be further from the truth. Vision is so vital to an organization, but it’s hard to know where to start when creating it and trying to implement it among your team.
So is it all up to leadership to create your vision statement?
Contrary to popular belief, vision doesn’t have to just reign down from the top of an organization. You do need someone who owns the vision and leads the way for implementing this vision. But you don’t have to create it alone. At MountainSeed, we created a leadership team, and had the CEO, myself, guide the structure of these strategic meetings so we could better understand where our business is today and where we want to be in the future.
If you’re starting from scratch, it’s helpful to think about where you want to be in 10 years.
In 10 years, we want to be __________.
We want to be the world’s leading manager of real estate valuation and other due diligence providers. This vision is lofty enough that people can rally around it, but it’s also broad enough that we’re not pigeonholing ourselves into a specific goal or revenue target. So many times I hear a manager say “In 10 years we want to be at the $100 Million revenue mark, ” but that’s just a transactional number. It’s not something people can rally around. You’re not going to hear someone come in and say “I’m so excited about hitting the $100 Million mark.”
Your vision needs to be aspirational…
Yet have a clear path of how you’ll get there. Don’t go at it alone. Talk about these goals with your leadership team and collaborate with other team members so that you can create a vision statement that’s much bigger than one person.
Then, share it! If you have this vision for a business, then as the leader you need to help your team be inspired to work towards this goal with you. If you don’t tell anyone else where you’re going, then you’re bound to create some organizational discourse. People won’t be sure why they are putting in all this work, what they are working towards, and what they’re doing it for. Instead, tell your team the vision and explain how you think they’ll be able to help the business get there.
And share it regularly. When a business vision statement is created in a collaborative environment, you can begin to share it regularly so every single person on the team knows where they’re headed. An easy tell-tale sign to see if you’re sharing it often enough is to ask your team, where is the business headed and what role do you play in accomplishing this vision? Once your team knows this, they can work towards something bigger than themselves.
Having trouble reaching a clear vision for your banking business? Let me know. I’d love to chat with you and maybe share a few pointers.
— Carl Streck, CEO of MountainSeed