20 Feb 2016

Turn your dream into a vision

What does communications effectiveness look and feel like in an organisation? In a nutshell, it means that your people know where your company is heading, they know how their role fits into the broader vision of the firm and they are motivated and capable to work towards it. While there are no silver bullets to achieve this utopia, there sure are some keys which can unlock an organisation’s ability to communicate more effectively.

In this blog, I will focus on what I believe is an important driver of communications success – ‘turning your dream into a vision’. There is a well-known quote from scripture that states ‘where there is no vision the people perish’, how true is that today in the corporate realm. We may have amazing people, the best resources, a strong brand, yet if our people don’t understand the overall vision of our organisation then how can we expect them to work towards it?

The best way to start articulating your organisation’s vision is to dream. Yes it’s as simple as starting with a dream. Place a blank sheet of paper in front of you and start jotting down your hopes and dreams for your organisation. Tap into why you chose to work for this organisation or why you established it yourself. Think about the kind of people you want to attract and the culture you want to build. Consider your existing products and services, and think of ways you could revolutionise them to better meet the future needs of your customers or make the world a better place.

Make sure your vision is broad enough to apply to your entire organisation, yet specific enough that you can set goals to reach it and achieve it. You want your vision to be motivating for your people by revealing the heart of what your organisation stands for and by setting yourself apart from your competitors.

Once you have a strong list of thoughts, then the fun part begins. Start to incorporate your best thoughts into a short punchy statement that articulates who your organisation is and where it is heading. This process takes time, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Remember, it’s the starting point for communications effectiveness in your organisation, so keep working on it until you find yourself feeling energised by it and excited about where it could lead you.

You may find yourself with a few statements and that’s great. Keep a hold of them, because my next blog will discuss taking your people on the journey with you and sharing the vision with your people, so providing the opportunity to discuss a few vision statements can be a powerful employee engagement exercise.

For some inspiration, here are some of my favourite vision statements out there.

Google: To provide access to the world’s information in one click.

IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.

McDonalds: Our purpose goes beyond what we sell. We’re using our reach to be a positive force. For our customers. Our people. Our communities. Our world.

The Commonwealth Bank: To excel at securing and enhancing the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities.

Vodafone: We aim to use our products and services to help transform societies and contribute to more sustainable living.

Hallmark: We will be the company that creates a more emotionally connected world by making a genuine difference in every life, every day.

Wesfarmers: To be a high performance resource company delivering shareholder value through initiative, innovation and growth.

Amazon: To be Earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

I hope you found these as interesting as I did. I love to see a vision statement that breaks the mould in an industry and portrays a greater purpose than simply offering products and services.

Well that’s it for me today. I hope you enjoyed this blog and I look forward to discussing the next driver of communications effectiveness with you soon.

Linda Karkafi