Casting a Clear Vision: It’s More Than Setting Goals

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On January 14, 2014

The new year is still new enough that many of us still have a fair amount of excitement and enthusiasm for what’s yet to come. Maybe you’re getting ready to do some strategic planning for your company. If so, one of the key elements to successful strategic planning (and to the success of your company) is having a clear vision for where you want your company to be in the future.

Unfortunately, when we talk about vision, the picture sometimes gets a little fuzzy. And if you’re the one responsible for casting the vision for your company, that can be a problem. How do you go about casting a clear vision for your company?

When we think of vision, we often think of company goals. But vision is more than just setting goals. Goals are hugely important, but what I’m talking about goes beyond simply setting—and meeting—strategic goals. Here’s what I mean.

Let’s say one of your goals is to double revenue for the year. That’s both specific and measurable. It’s a good goal. But it’s not the whole story. What would your company look like if you actually achieved that goal? Would it affect the number of employees you have? Would you be able to meet demand with the facilities you currently have?  What would this growth do to your corporate culture? Would doubling your revenue change the way you do business?

Can you envision these things? Achieving your goals will probably bring about some significant changes. Are they the kind of changes you want? Is the kind of company you will become the kind of company you want to be? And what about your team? Is this the kind of company they want to be a part of? If you and your team don’t share the same vision for your company, you won’t realize the fulfillment of that vision.

Casting a vision for your business needs to go beyond setting measurable benchmarks for growth and profitability. You need to think about things such as quality, sustainability, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. What do you want your business to look like? What does success look like for you? Is it merely growth and profitability? Or is your vision for something bigger, more all encompassing than that?

Should you have specific, measurable goals? Absolutely! Should you monitor them regularly? Yes! But those goals should help you to fulfill a vision or a dream of what you want your company to be.

In his book, Double Double, Cameron Herold talks about what he calls “the painted picture.” It’s how he describes the process of casting a vision for what you want your company to look like. I thought you might find this look at his first chapter helpful.

Make sure your vision is clear, and then you can work on setting the goals that will help you realize that vision. And if you need some help doing that, I’ve got some tools and some principles I can share with you.