Is a business vision essential for success?

In most companies I get to know, their people pull in different directions. Its starts from the leadership team downwards. As a result MD’s ask me “Why are my staff not more committed? Why is productivity not higher?”

Businesses do not realize that THE no. 1 thing is to get everyone pulling in the same direction. An army that pulled in different directions would be massacred. It is exactly the same in business. An inspiring business vision is a great way to do that.

Not the sort of business vision that many companies created- one that is a laser clear picture of where the company is headed and is THE most exciting thing they can imagine creating. We are told that business should not be about emotion. Rubbish. Until you engage peoples’ emotions to the point where they come to work because it is so worthwhile, your business is missing out.

Business Vision – for a Better Tomorrow

The CEO of TOMS, Blake Mycoaskie, has a wonderful business vision. He decided to “start a shoe company that makes a new kind of alpargata (type of shoe.) For every pair I sell I’m going to give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.” He said “It’s about a promise- a better tomorrow….. TOMS was more than just a shoe. It was a story.” Alpargatas had been around for years. Yet shoe buyers, celebrities like Kiera Knightley and leading magazines, such as Vogue, were all inspired to promote and use them. In the company’s very first summer, they sold 10,000 pairs!

Achieving the Impossible

It is the same for larger companies. In 1995 Apple was finding it hard to compete against Microsoft. Do you remember? People thought they would always be a flea on the side of the immense Microsoft. Steve Jobs had a business vision though: “I have a plan that could rescue Apple.” His vision was incredible- to transform the complex IT world into the “garden of easy”[1]. As a result, for the first time ever, people can now enjoy all the information, films, music etc. easily, using their choice of beautiful equipment. They almost luxuriate in the experience.

The vision was so inspirational that everyone in Apple is proud to be part of something so good. They are helping to create a better tomorrow. They grew revenue by 38% in one year- although they were already making $ billions. For a while Apple even became the highest valued company in the world and for much longer the highest valued technology company.

Is it time to engage your people? What could you achieve with an inspired business vision? 

[1] Phrase used by Bryan Glick, Editor in Chief of Computer Weekly

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