Creating a vision for where you want to take your company is fundamental to starting on the road to profitability. Developing a strategy that takes yours employees and customers along with you to reach that vision takes more than traditional cost-based and risk averse planning. Getting the most out of your organizational assets, human capital, as well as the greatest return on your customer value proposition takes more than strategic planning.
It takes strategic visioning.
Developing a strategic plan, that all important defence that is supposed to safeguard profits and finally capture new market share, needs to be rethought. If your company is starting its strategic plan based on where we have been and where we are now, that plan has built into it more risk-averse predictability and cost-based decision making that stagnates true growth and profitability. Instead of leveraging the strength of revenue-based decision making and strategy development, traditional strategic planning fundamentally builds into itself the cautionary discretion that leads good companies to remain simply good. What takes the good companies to great and helps those great companies successfully reach their goals, is starting with the vision first, than working through the details of planning.
Completing the vision-strategy-customer-profit connection means starting with the risk and ambition of vision first, and then working back through the bridle of cost-based planning and current organizational capabilities. Let’s say your company is looking to gain 20% new market share over the next 5 years. First, start with your vision of the customer value proposition, marketing strategies, building your brand name etc., then work back through the nuts and bolts of cash flow, variable costs, and scalability. Costs and capabilities are a necessary part of developing a functional strategic plan and always will be. Strategic visioning uses these factors to advance and propel meaningful, visionary, customer-driven strategies, not inhibit and stifle them.
If you want a strategic plan that promotes engaged employees and offers the full return on your talent management investments, start your strategic plan with vision. If you want to break into new market share this year, start with vision. If you want a culture of shared enthusiasm and innovation from employees and customers that drives your company into the future, start with vision. In this way, your organization will take the old routine strategic plan that is laden with stifled innovation and risk averse complacency, and truly develop an effective strategic vision – one that fosters engaged and enabled employees, happier customers, and higher profitability.