Every executive team has a vision. 

But most of them are pretty blurry.

Only 35% of adults have 20/20 vision, and an even smaller percentage of companies do. 

Most companies suffer from some sort of vision disorder, such as myopia – where they can’t focus on the long-term, or tunnel vision – where they get blindsided by market shifts and discontinuities. 

In contrast, high-performers have a crystal-clear definition of where they are going.  They confront the brutal facts, consider the alternatives, and develop One SMART Vision.

In high-performance companies, the vision is far more than a traditional vision statement, most of which are just meaningless blah-blah-blah.  It is what SHIFTPOINTS calls a “SMART Vision,” which is specific enough to provide direction and inspiring enough to provide the motivation to achieve it.

Defining one specific, long-term measurable goal provides high-performers with a way to define success.  Many are captured in catchy, memorable phrases, such as “$25M by 2025.” 

Combining a long-term SMART goal with visionary language inspires people to achieve it.  (This is especially important in mission-driven companies and non-profits.) 

In addition, the combination of logic and emotion appeals to both left-brain and right-brain types of people. 

In high-performers, the process of defining the vision is as important as the vision itself.  They use a collaborative process that combines top-down aspirations with bottoms-up forecasts. 

Assumptions are debated.  Competitors are studied.  Trends are extrapolated.

Of course, high-performers do a gut check before launching the vision.  They understand what it will really take to achieve the vision.  They have “counted the costs.”  There is nothing more demoralizing to a company than a unilateral, top-down vision that is really a delusional pipe-dream. 

And finally, high-performers make the case.  Every executive—not just the CEO—can explain the vision, explain why this is their vision, and help everyone understand what’s in it for them.  They do far more than communicate the vision … they sell it! 

So, does your company have 20/20 Vision?

If not, some of the critical factors to consider include:

  • Forecasting macro, industry, and market growth rates
  • Projecting trends and potential discontinuities
  • Confronting the brutal facts about the company’s performance
  • Mapping the current trajectory vs. the desired trajectory
  • Competitive analysis and benchmarking
  • Brainstorming, testing, and modeling

Then, integrate all your insights into One (SMART) Vision.

If your company needs help clarifying your vision, The Pit Stop Program is a great place to start.

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