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Why Your Company Needs a Team Vision and How to Create One
Setting up a clear, compelling organizational vision helps you refine it into team-specific visions aligned with the organizational purpose. You need the vision to create perspective, direction, and trust for your organization while empowering your employees and encouraging their creativity. Never confuse a vision with a lofty goal. Your vision should tell you where you want to go and how you plan to get there.
Your vision statement gives your organization/team direction and purpose.
A vision statement is a document that defines the goals and values of an organization or team. It specifies where the organization is going and describes what it will look like once it attains its goals. By providing these essential reference points, the vision also defines what the organization values.
Why does your company/team need such a vision? Beyond the obvious fact that vision provides a direction for the organization as a whole and its employees as individuals, a well-defined, specific vision statement offers many other benefits.
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese proverb.
You cannot afford to act without a vision. As the above proverb states, nothing good will ever come of acting without a vision. If you do not know what you want and where you want to be, how will you get there?
An inspired, collaborative vision should be the top priority of your organization, as I have stated in my book Intelligent Leadership.
- A clear, well-defined vision encourages engagement. It sparks energy, tapping into the deeply-held beliefs and values of your employees/team members.
- Vision promotes commitment. When an employee buys into your organizational vision, he/she develops psychological ownership of its objectives. Psychological ownership is a powerful driver of commitment.
- Vision offers perspective and through it, clarity. A compelling vision clarifies to every one of your employees where they stand in the big scheme and how they can make a difference with their skills.
- Vision empowers and supports individual creativity. In an environment of shared direction and values, it makes sense for leaders to allow more room for the independent actions of their employees. With increased autonomy come increased creativity and better problem-solving.
- A shared vision gives birth to trust. An environment of shared vision and mutual reliance is conducive to trust.
- Empowerment and autonomy encourage proactive actions and decision-making.
Companies that successfully communicate their strong and clear organizational visions find it easier to translate to the team level the objectives such a vision entails. Team vision should be collaborative, team-focused, and aligned with the organizational mission, strategy, and goals.
Creating an Effective Shared Vision
Do not confuse a vision with setting a big goal. Unlike a goal, a vision should provide answers to three fundamental questions.
- What is the purpose of the team/organization? Why does it exist?
- Where is it going?
- What are the principles and values that define decision-making as your organization moves toward its destination?
Your mission statement provides answers.
None of the three elements has the power of a true vision statement in and of itself. A vision statement includes all three, defining the current situation of the organization, its raison d’etre, its destination, and how it will get there.
Condensing these elements into a single statement is not compulsory. But such a statement can provide a simple and powerful pathway to communicate the organizational/team vision to employees, clients, potential clients, and executive peers.
When defining the values that guide a team vision, make sure that they unify your team instead of dividing it and that they reflect the purpose of your team.
- Be transparent and honest and mean what you say.
- Be collaborative and open to new ideas.
- Set high standards and learn from past mistakes.
To learn more about the importance of team vision and its place in organizational culture, see my book Intelligent Leadership.