Vision and strategy

Do your projects and initiatives aspire to a common image of the future? A highly networked system like your company cannot be led by goal setting strategies and measures alone. Without a vision, passions and energies scatter in too many different directions. A weak vision means less earning power.

A forward looking leader must have an image of the future and guide his employees toward it. It is his first and most important task to develop a solid future image and to continuously adjust it to reality and to what lies ahead.

Forward looking leaders must always have good answers to the questions “What will we live off?”, “What will our company and business look like in the future?”, “What is right, what is important, and what do we strive for in the future?” and “How do we make it a reality?”

It is just as important to make sure that leaders and employees have the same image of the future in mind. So that they can decide whether they passionately want to work on the future of your company or that of another.

Gone are the times when we could believe that a single person or a small group at the top knew everything and was able to do everything. We believe that leaders of an organization develop and determine its orientation, but they can never do it alone as well as they could along with their employees.

Like this, leadership would work best but this is not often the case yet. That is when employees have the necessary freedom to daily work on the future autonomously, with agility and joy.

We’ll admit that we likely don’t even know your vision. But we know the visions of many different companies. And most of them are weak. A weak vision means less earning power.

It is painful to see how much potential is wasted just because you think of your vision as a necessary evil and hastily jot it down in two beautiful, yet general sentences. The task is done and you can go back to your daily grind.

Many companies only have a vision, because they wanted to have a quality certificate. That requires that you develop a vision. If you didn’t have one, you just wrote something down.

It is a truism: With a fascinating, motivating, jointly developed, and realistic idea of your company’s future, you can reap countless advantages.

Precisely because this seems so banal, it surprises us every time to see how rarely and if, how badly this truism is turned into reality.

We know them all, the stories about the visionary hero. With unbelievable ingenuity and imagination, he has envisioned what nobody before him could. His admiring followers in tow, he has revolutionized the world. He is a Steve Jobs.

A great deal of success- and leadership literature includes stories like that. However, every single one of these success stories hides likely ten, one hundred, one thousand or more cases in which our ingenious visionary missed a decisive factor and became a desperate debtor.

Given the complex nature of today’s businesses, founders already and leadership teams in particular have to invest much care into the development of their vision.

If you do not secure your vision against surprises and eventualities, you accept high risks that cannot be justified.

Base your positioning, vision, and strategy on solid analyses of trends and technologies, that are and could be relevant to you – assumptions you could make relevant.

Develop and analyze thinkable scenarios of your future market.

Base your vision on solid assumptions of future changes.

In this edition of “Leader’s Foresight” you’ll find the 19 worst shortcomings your orientation, mission, and vision could possibly have. Examine how many of them apply to your ideas of the future for your company. Naturally, you will also find recommendations for avoiding and erasing these mistakes.