I’ve been involved in three vision teams two of which I lead. One was in 2009 when the economy had just kicked most companies in the…I’m sure you understand. All three vision teams were successful in positively focusing the businesses on visions for the future. All three organizations have experienced record growth since. I’m not saying the growth was 100 % because of the vision team’s involvement, but the vision team recommendations had something to do with it.
Creating a Vision Team
Who – A vision team shouldn’t be comprised solely of employees. The team could include vendors, customers, and interested parties such as business people who have invested in or mentored the organization.
What – The purpose of a vision team is to offer recommendations for the future growth of an organization based on practical activities with reachable goals.
How – One of the best tools for a vision team is a SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) another way is to build a business roadmap.
Building a Roadmap
Roadmap creation begins with the answers to the following questions:
- Where is the organization now and where do they want to be?
- What is the difference between the current and desired state of the organization?
- What is needed in the way of tools, training, policies, and procedures?
- How will change impact the organization both positively and negatively?
- What will change cost in dollars and time?
- How will performance be measured, what indicators can be used to judge progress, and what milestones will be set?
- What will the process look like? Who will do what, when, and where? How will change be accomplished?
- What are the priorities? What comes first?
- How can the process be simplified?
Facilitating the Vision Team Meeting(s)
The vision teams I sat on differed, one had several meetings, another three, and the other had one meeting with individual follow-up. I prefer multiple meetings, because I have a tendency to rush when given limited time and a vision team shouldn’t be rushed.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis, roadmap exercise or both.
- Brainstorm Vision Team recommendations.
- Come to a consensus on vision recommendations based on impact and feasibility.
- Share the vision team recommendations in writing with the organization’s leadership.
- Schedule a follow-up with the leadership team.
What’s Your Vision?
Where is your organization going? What’s down the road? Do you see and recognize every possibility? I ask because so many leaders get stuck in the trenches and find it difficult to see the forest for the trees. So, maybe it’s time to bring in the Calvary. Ask a couple of loyal and valued employees, ask a mentor, enlist a vendor, seek out local business people you respect, and form a vision team. Because you never know what they may see in your future.