You Need Vision?

Many company owners (more often owner/founders) questionVS the vision setting process of strategic planning. Why? .People who found companies are often gifted with a sense of what the market needs. While they are very visionary, they are often filled with too much vision. The results in keeping too many visions in place on the belief that they will be able to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities as the occur.

Vision Value
Consequently many companies do not have a formal vision that directs the resources of the company. A company vision is viewed as too restrictive or limiting for the business that the company is seeking. They rely on a mission statement and providing the market with capabilities expecting the customer to identify their strategic value. These companies operate in a reactive state to grab what many would call low hanging fruit. Typically cost of sales is high for this type of business due the inability to correctly forecast demand, have properly aligned resources (people, equipment, facilities) and consequently gross margins are not maximized.

Multiple Visions?
This multi-vision mission approach can be very confusing to a customer-company when they are looking for a strategic partner. Companies that are successful selling to this type of customer take the time to form a vision that clearly defines where they are going, how the company represents strategic value to the customer and carefully develops  an intentional deployment of resources to achieve their vision.

Companies that can demonstrate that they are committed and invested in one vision, not standing on the sidelines trying to grab anything that comes on the market in the short term, are more likely to convince a customer that they are positioned to be a long term strategic partner. A vision that creates a compelling story of where the company will be in the future, along with past and current activities that validate the ability and progression toward achieving the vision, is fundamental in selling a strategic relationship.

Example
One company that I worked with several years ago tried to get by just doing the mission level of strategic planning. After several attempts to sell to a customer using a “capabilities” sell for their multiple business lines, the owner recognized that he needed a stronger, future-directed, message of “vision” to convince his targeted customers of where his company was going.

The next planning cycle focused on the vision message and they were able to craft a single sentence tag line that clearly communicated what business they were in. This process resulted in changes in the daily investment of the owner to work on his business and not just in his business. Now four years later the business direction of the company is tied to the vision and the customers that have been established have selected the owner’s company strategically as a trusted value-add partner.

Summary
What is your commitment to your vision? Is it a token message not representing the commitment of your strategic resources? Commit to a compelling vision if you want to be a strategic partner to your customers.

You need vision!

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