3 Tips To Define Your Vision Story To Boost Team Engagement And Draw The Right Allies Towards You
How amazing would it be if you could learn and master how to explain your vision to your employees and partners once and — as if they could read your mind — they just go and make it happen with you?
So, if you think about the wholesomeness of developing a vision and strategy for your business… a simple vision statement is likely not going to cut it, is it?
Let me tell you why….
- A single statement is simply too abstract and vague
- It can never lay out a clear way forward
- It is just a sentence which people will interpret differently
Hence, the lack of clarity in your vision can lead to a “permission-based” management system where you end up micromanaging your team because one can only take full ownership if they really understand what is required. Your business strategy is also likely going to change more often because you aren’t 100% clear on what you’re actually working towards. 🤯
Sounds exhausting and like something that could be avoided, once you recognise the power your vision actually carries for the business.
That being said, before you engage in the strategy development for your company, read my 3 tips on how to create a powerful vision story, and the strategic and operational benefits you could get from consistently and effectively communicating your vision story to your team.
Let’s start with the basics of storytelling.
We know that people love stories that they can resonate with.
A story changes the way businesses talk about who they are, what they do and what unique value they bring.
A story invites customers into a journey.
A story makes a business relatable and unforgettable.
A story draws some in and pushes others away (don’t be afraid if people don’t like your story, and concentrate on the ones that do).
You get the gist — a good story is important!
So, why not think of your vision as a story that is so clear, yet leaves room for your employees to take ownership and make it happen, as well as draw in the right parties that you need to build your business?
Personally, it took me a few weeks to create a vision story for humanplus. However, it has already proven to be a highly effective strategy tool. It has allowed my employees to take ownership and get my plan to offer business strategy consulting, operations management services and conscious leadership development programmes (amongst others) to start-ups and small-to medium sized enterprises completely off the ground in less than 2 months:
- They produce amazing content because they really understand why we are building this start-up and what consulting services we offer
- They understand the big picture and are comfortable with change because our Northstars always stay the same, despite the strategy to get there changing constantly based on the insights we get from our target market and customers
- They independently conduct research to validate our business strategy and come up with recommendations on how to do it better — without me even asking for it!
Questions like ‘’what makes humanplus consulting services different’’ never came up, because the vision story made it so obvious already.
Most importantly, it did a great job of selling the lofty Northstars of the business: the vision communicated as a story did its natural job of drawing the right people in.
As a result, I do not have to spend much time reviewing, correcting and approving things and can concentrate on developing our own growth strategy and actually building a start-up instead. 🧠📈
And the best part is, my team is happy because they can really be part of shaping the future of a conscious company. 💛
Since this process has been immensely helpful and proven to be invaluable for humanplus and some of our clients, I wanted to share it with you.
Here are my top 3 tips to define your vision as a story that people will buy in and draw the right allies to you, along with tips for pitching your story vision.
1️⃣ Prepare mentally and physically: Make sure your creativity can flourish by allowing your mind to reset and focus on the task at hand. My go-to is always meditation but do whatever works for you. Then choose a setting (time and place) where you are not being distracted by colleagues, your phone, or anything else.
2️⃣ Stop worrying and putting pressure on yourself: Don’t overthink technicalities and just let yourself dream. How do you want others to feel when they think of your company? What is the one thing that you want people to remember? I have a post-it right in front of me that says “Dream bigger, Kat!” to remind me not to think small.
3️⃣ Visualise your story: Use a simple word document or g-doc to write down your thoughts and make them tangible. You could also use a mind map tool for creative visualisation (Mind Map or similar) in the creation process. The key is to get it from your head onto a piece of paper.
Remember, when you’re building a business, as the founder or CEO you usually know what has to happen when, who needs to do what and how to get to the next level but nobody can read your mind.
But at the end of the day it all comes down to whether you are able to communicate this in an effective manner or not.
Creating a vision story was a fun process and also a very insightful step in building the foundation of our business strategy.
Having it expressed in a way that allows everyone to see where they are going, I now let them the freedom to figure out how to get there.
I am excited to share it, and would absolutely love to tell you more about it if you’re interested.