The vision thing: Six ways to get focused on your company's vision
A clear and exciting vision is the starting point for building a sustainable business and a strong culture. Nearly everyone wants to be part of a growing business that's achieving its goals. But only when vision is measurable does it become compelling.
During 2012, The Physio Co delivered 108,674 physiotherapy consultations for Australian aged care residents; we ended the year with 54 team members and were ranked as the 8th Best Place to Work in Australia. On their own, these numbers tell an interesting story, but, they also leave a lot of unanswered questions: How do the numbers compare to last year? What is the significance of each number? That's where the measurable vision comes in.
In mid-2009, on a cold night in a rented classroom near St Kilda Junction, I shared The Physio Co's new three-year vision with our team. The response I received when I finished my presentation was not what I'd expected. There was silence! Why? The vision was a big one. It was exciting and challenging, but it scared the hell out of the 19 team members in the room. They liked the idea of growing but had no idea how we were going to do it. In fact, a few of them actually thought I'd lost my mind!
That vision, our Painted Picture of 2012, included some very measurable goals:
- Growing our team from 20 to more than 50 people in the next three years
- Growing the number of consultations we deliver from 40,000 to more than 100,000 per year
- Becoming one of the Top 10 Places to Work in Australia
From 2009 to 2012, we have obsessed over bringing that vision to life. Every decision we've made has been aligned with the vision. Every team member we selected, client we engaged, story we told, book we published and party we threw were all aligned with bringing our vision to life.
The result: we've hit all three of the key numbers that were set back in 2009. There's been plenty of bumps along the way, but, by being committed to our vision, we've brought it to life.
Six ways to make a vision more compelling
1. Make it clear – a three-year painted picture vision is an inspiring, easy-to-read document.
2. Make it specific – measurable goals are the easiest to manage, track and achieve.
3. Make it possible – hitting goals aligns a team, missing them doesn't. Be realistic.
4. Communicate progress often – measure, track and share progress as often as possible.
5. Obsess over it – Talk about your vision coming to life at least once every day.
6. Make it fun – The Physio Co has a basketball ring in our office with our goals painted on it!
Do you have a measurable vision for your team? Do you have a different approach? Please let me know or ask a question in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.
PS – Stay tuned for The Physio Co's Painted Picture of 2015; the new vision will be shared at our 9th birthday bash in a couple of weeks :)
Tristan White is a husband to Kimberley and a dad to little Alexandra. He's a qualified physiotherapist, ironman triathlete, blogger and CEO of The Physio Co – Australia's eighth Best Place to Work. His passion is to build a strong family and workplace culture and share what he learns with the world. Tristan's Culture is Everything blog was ranked by SmartCompany as one of Australia's 25 Best Business Blogs in 2011.