Sometimes when you mention strategic planning, it conjures up thoughts of long retreats at exotic resorts where you’re locked in a conference room. The meeting ends with a pseudo-team building exercise and pep talk after which you receive a 2-inch thick binder with the notes from the meeting that ultimately ends up on a bookshelf collecting dust.
In today’s fast-paced world, strategic planning has to change. It’s still important and essential to our business. But it needs to be streamlined while still effective.
One of the classic exercises in strategic planning is developing (or revising) an organizational vision statement. Whenever I think of vision statements, it reminds me of a chapter in Scott Adams’ book titled, The Dilbert Principle. He talks about managers doing vision things when they should be doing mission things. It’s a riot!
The joke does have some bearing in the business world today. Traditionally, organizations have always had vision statements – those declarations of what they want to be long-term. Their legacy, if you will.
But with the mantra from Wall Street being, “you’re only as good as your last quarter” – are vision statements relevant anymore?
Even from a personal standpoint, we used to encourage people to develop personal vision statements, think about their contributions as an individual, etc. With everyone just trying to make ends meet and willing to pick up a side hustle at a moment’s notice, does this change a personal brand?
I’m not ready to eliminate the need for vision statements, but I do think the vision statement needs to be more fluid than it has been in the past. Company vision statements used to be chiseled in stone and, maybe today, they should be written on paper…in pencil. And have an eraser handy.
At some point, we will all have to narrow our business strategy. Or maybe we realize that now. I once facilitated a focus group where I asked the question, “who are your customers?” and the answer was “everybody.” Hmmm…no. Everybody is not your customer. Sorry.
Maybe the new vision statement is less about what your business provides and more about who they service. Even if you have a side hustle going on, you can focus on the core customer which remains consistent.
What do you think? Is it time to retire the corporate vision statement or just redefine our line of sight?
Image courtesy of U-g-g-B-o-y1