Share Your Vision
I am a fan of Walt Disney, not just his movies, but his vision and creativity as an entrepreneur. He understood the importance of a clear company vision expressed passionately through stories and ideas, not cold facts and numbers.
When Disney started construction on Disneyland he worked closely with the construction crews mapping out every detail of the park. He envisioned a magical place and wanted everyone who came to the park to feel the magic from their very first step so he insisted they build Sleeping Beauty’s castle first.
The castle was located in the center of the park so it was impractical and expensive to start with the castle but Disney insisted. Why? The castle was the center of the idea, representing all the magic of the park. He believed once it was built others would see the park the way he did and he was right.
So how do you communicate your vision if you don’t have something as specific as a castle in the center of your business?
Define your company vision
Before you can bring others on board, you need to have a clear vision in your mind. This isn’t busy work but a serious commitment to a future path. To find that vision answer a few simple questions.
- What will your company look like in 5, 10 or 20 years? How many employees, what types of customer, and what services will you offer?
- What do you want to be known for? When people talk about you and your business what’s the first thing most people will say?
As you answer those questions, a picture of the company will emerge. The more specific you are, the clearer the picture becomes. Now you are ready to start sharing your company vision with others.
Sharing your vision
Live the vision. Commit to this vision of your future completely so everyone around you feels the passion and energy you have for this outcome. If you aren’t excited they won’t be.
Tell a story. People don’t see facts and figures. They won’t visualize a spreadsheet. Bring others into your vision with the story of the business you hope to create, the people you will help, and the changes your company will make in the market place and the lives of the people you touch. As your story brings your vision to life, capturing hearts and minds, it makes it easier for your team to communicate the vision to others.
Practice your elevator speech. You won’t always have time to tell your whole story, so think about constructing an elevator pitch with just the most relevant information. Make it short enough to share in a typical elevator ride, a walk to the parking garage, or waiting in line at the coffee shop.
Share, share, and share again. Use written words, podcasts, and video to share your vision, Share your ideas regularly in group meetings and in one-on-one conversations with team members. Use every conversation as an opportunity to transmit information, receive feedback, build support, and create energy around the vision.
Identify other storytellers. As you build out your vision and hope to reach more people the story must by told by others. Identify key players such as people in your organization, stakeholders, or supporters who are great communicators and enlist their help to tell your story as well, or better than you do.
Celebrate as your company vision becomes a reality.
Twenty years ago I envisioned a company built on three values: Creativity, collaboration, and positive energy. While I couldn’t predict all the twists and turns there would be along the way, the company remained close to that original vision. Our castle, the little white house with the blue shutters, was home to creative, positive people who worked well together and created magic for our clients. That was my vision, what’s yours?