Turning your vision into reality is one of the most difficult challenges a leader can face. It requires a cadre of engaged People who embrace the vision, a well-defined Plan to serve as a road map and reshaped Processes to make it so. Although many companies have these individual components in place, few have successfully linked them together to drive the sustainable change needed to fully achieve their vision.
A clearly defined VISION that inspires employees and gives them purpose is the first step in setting a new direction. But a vision is just a set of words unless it is brought to life by passion. Passion, defined as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement about doing something, provides limitless energy that fuels action, drives learning and instills motivation. A purposeful vision fueled by passion is one of the few things that has the power to inspire and align an organization to embrace change.
A PLAN that defines high level goals and milestones to achieve your vision should be developed. Leadership at all levels must not only embrace and own the plan but be passionate about it as well. They must help each and every employee understand their individual role in achieving the goals and how their role links to the overall plan. An effective plan describes what needs to be done and by when, and most importantly how people will make it so.
The most critical (and often overlooked) element in achieving your vision is having engaged PEOPLE with the skills, knowledge and passion to bring your vision to life. Research indicates that a sense of purpose, clear goals linked to a vision, consistent communication and feedback, recognition and employee development are some of the key drivers to employee engagement. For the most part, people want to make a difference. They want to be part of something big – something that gives them purpose and meaning. And they want to be noticed and appreciated for their contributions. With the right tools and skills, engaged people quickly become the catalyst for the changes that are needed to achieve your vision. Too many companies skip this important step and then wonder why their efforts stall.
Once you have a PLAN and engaged PEOPLE who are passionate about achieving your VISION, you should turn your attention to making the PROCESS changes needed to implement your plan. Changing complex processes can be a daunting task but there are many tools available to help define critical activities and map out process steps. Every employee should have basic process skills. It helps them see things differently, think differently, ask different questions and look for ways to make things better in a ‘bold’ way. Changing processes requires skill, coordination and change management. Done well it can quickly close the gap between vision and reality.
Turning your vision into reality requires a compelling Vision, a well thought-out Plan, engaged People and effective Processes. Link these components together and you will be geared up for success.
Vision – Plan – People – Process: Critical components, perfectly synchronized driving value for your company, your employees, your shareholders and your customers.
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