We all talk about needing one, and yet so many entrepreneurs avoid doing one – creating a vision and plan for their business. I often hear people talk about how boring an exercise it is, too time consuming, not what I’m good at. Sound familiar?
Today I wanted to share an exercise with you that is a lot of fun, creates great team spirit and motivation, and is easy to do. And it will help you to create a strategic vision for your business in a fun and creative way.
First, I want you to imagine that it is 22 December 2009. Tonight you will be attending the SmartCompany Entrepreneurs’ Gala Dinner, where you and your team are being presented with an award recognising you as the smartest entrepreneurs who are changing the business landscape.
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After the awards dinner you will be interviewed by Amanda Gome, founder and publisher of SmartCompany, who wants to uncover how you became Australia’s most successful company. The interview will be featured on the front page of SmartCompany for the world to read.
- How will your story read?
- What is the headline?
- What are the images/pictures?
- What are the quotes? (include quotes that you have created and quote others).
- What are people saying about you that you are excited about quoting?
- What are the insights that you have gained that you can share with others?
- What did you learn over the past seven months?
- How did you keep motivation going?
- How did you resolve disputes/challenges?
- Set aside time to work through this process, ideally one day or four hours minimum.
- Set ground rules (see below).
- Spend five minutes imagining winning the award. Picture yourself at the gala dinner standing on the podium to rapturous applause. Hear yourself giving your acceptance speech.
- Spend 30 minutes brainstorming all the ideas that come from the questions above. Ensure you have someone to record all the ideas on to a flip chart. Use icons, images to capture your ideas.
- Ensure that you spend time discussing what happened to enable you to win the award. From here you will be able to identify the major headlines that SmartCompany will use.
- Cluster all the ideas/themes together. What can you create from these?
- Plan your next steps before ending the session.
- Close with acknowledging the great work you have done together, photograph the completed flip chart to use as a physical structure of your vision. You can create postcards with it and also put your completed flip chart in the office, somewhere where you will see it every day.
You will need:
- Ensure you have flip chart paper or large butchers rolls that you can attach to a wall.
- Good quality flip chart pens.
- Coloured dots. Give each participant five dots to put next to the ideas that excite them the most.
- All ideas are great ideas. Suspend judgement and analysis of ideas.
- Rule no-one, no-one gets to be wrong.
- Perfection does not exist, this is a first draft.
- Everyone must participate, no-one to dominate.
- Capture ALL ideas, the good, the bad and the insane. All are valuable.
- If you are stuck, make it up!
- No invalidation; if you disagree add your own ideas, contribute rather than wasting time disagreeing. It disrupts the creative flow.
Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to www.perspectivescoaching.com.au
For more Second Time Around, click here.