Vision Driven Execution – The Whole Story

by Sep 7, 2020

Virtual Fist Bump

“I am a human being, not a human doing.” – attributed to many in the universe.

Not a short blog this week!

There are many brilliant minds in our world addressing all of the myriads of things that that we need to DO to make a shift in our world to accommodate the changes that we perceive COVID-19 has brought to how we “sell”.

And from what can be seen, they are all doing a great job in telling that story. There is very little to add to the great ideas being spawned in getting the job done and great DOING.

In my opinion, the DOING is very tactical and pretty contextually specific to each business buyer/seller relationship. The answer to getting the most effective, efficient, and valuable outcomes from each of these “projects” is in fact front line leadership coaching. If we don’t get this right all of the foundational stuff below will not matter… Keith Rosen is the best there is for getting this front line connection to work. He is great at getting the DOING DONE.

DOING is not wrong, it’s just not enough on its own to make a unique difference with your clients. They want to see the deeper side of your team in addition to the tactical implementation perspective. It is by walking the talk of the whole story that you build client trust and maximize client outcomes. Trust comes when the client can see both sides of the curtain (OZ reference).

DOING is great. AND it is launched, nurtured, cultivated, and turned into excellence by being based deeply on a complete story of Vision Driven Execution. We build that on a foundation. A complete, sturdy, deep foundation that stands up to every challenge, including COVID-19. It does not get blown away by any category of a storm or swamped by any level of floodwaters or destroyed by any level of virus. And this foundation is our heart and soul.

The building blocks of the foundation of Vision Driven Execution are the following.

Strategic Objectives

Just a bit of explanation of each, for now, we will follow on more in-depth later.

Before we jump into all of these, it is worth noting that this entire focus can be a corporate construct, OR, it can also be how a team or business unit chooses to function, just as easily. So feel free to start small, enroll others, create success, and offer to help the folks around you accomplish the same things.

A corporate or team purpose must be aimed at things well beyond revenue, profits, shareholder return, etc. There will be a time and a place for those in the Strategic Objectives. Purpose, to be truly inspiring to all, must have a component that relates to making the world a better place. No ranking, striving to be the “best” or becoming number one. Those are all internal views. To make purpose really work it must be focused on things of humanity outside of the corporate walls. This one is a tough one to get most corporate C suite folks to buy into. But those that do create a truly compelling place to contribute to the betterment of humankind. The deeper level of purpose comes into play when you work to understand your client’s purpose and the purpose of yourself and the folks you are serving. That is another “book”.

Vision and mission are not the same things, although they often get interchanged. Vision is that “picture” of the future state of where you are or what you are building. It is something more like 5-10 years out. A good vision paints a picture of how your world will look, how it will act, how it will feel, how it will smell, sound, or maybe even taste… in the future. It is the ideal state that you are working to build. It can be SEEN by closing your eyes and letting all the words sink in. It talks to the people involved, where they are, what they do that is different, and how they do their work with their clients. A good vision can be several pages long. It is NOT meant to be memorized, but it IS meant to be felt. Think vision… think picture (with sounds and smells).

Mission is distinct in that it is built on today, not the future. It is a SIMPLE statement of the ONE thing that we MUST do each and every day to make our vision possible. This is the one thing that everyone absolutely MUST be able to recall instantly when asked what their mission is. This takes careful crafting as it must stand the test of time and abuse. This takes a lot of communication to get grounded and inherently understood. Simple is the magic here and that is what makes it hard. When you are building this, ask someone outside of your company if what you state makes sense.

Core values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones. Core values are seen as being inherent and too valuable and important to ever be messed with. They can never be compromised, either for convenience or short-term economic gain. This creative work needs some time and evolution or two as they must stand up to all pressures and guide the toughest of decisions and challenges. Even a small team can create its own set of values that work in unison with the corporate versions.

At their broadest, strategic objectives serve an organization’s ambition. A company or team’s ambition is found in its mission and vision statements. These statements together describe the main thrust of a company or team and its ultimate goal, a goal that can only be reached by successfully carrying out business. Strategic objectives are the steps and accomplishments that need to be completed to realize that ultimate goal.
Good strategic objectives — that is, those that are specific, measurable and have a deadline attached — unify the activities of everyone throughout an organization of any size. Employees and departments don’t work at cross purposes, pursuing their own agendas, but instead work with the larger picture in mind, all moving in the same direction. Because the goals are specific, employees and managers can measure progress and reform ineffective practices This focuses efforts on achievement — not only the achievement of strategic objectives but eventually, of the vision.

Execution is everything. It works exponentially well when it clearly has direction and shared understanding.

Vision Driven Execution delivers this.

OK, Lets Roll!

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