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Does your Credit Union have a vision that drives your strategic goals? Does everyone in the organization know what the vision is and how they fit into it? Does it inspire purpose and motivation?
Jonathan Swift said it best when he stated that, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” Vision and strategy are both important, but the order in which they are created is even more important. Vision comes first, because vision drives strategy. Vision is a way to imagine what is possible; strategy is the path to realizing it.
If you start working out the strategy before your vision is clear, it can actually inhibit you from thinking as big as you need to think.
When we focus on creating strategy without a clear and compelling vision, it’s difficult to see how we can accomplish more. Convinced that we must be realistic about what we can accomplish, we inadvertently create low expectations that do little to inspire excellence.
A compelling vision is the cornerstone of every decision and the direct link between actions and strategic goals. Otherwise, it’s too easy to spend most of our time just reacting to what happens rather than creating something valuable. When an organization takes the time to develop a clear, purpose-driven vision for why they come to work every day, every decision becomes naturally more strategic.
The vision becomes the measuring stick on which to judge individual goals and actions, because when we are clear about what we want, the how is easy.
Here are a few ideas for creating a vision that will inspire and empower:
- Block out time away from work. Creating an inspiring vision is important enough to warrant your uninterrupted attention. Turn off your phone and email notifications. Give yourself the time and space to really consider what you want to create.
- Start with your current reality. Be brutally honest about what is – especially the things that aren’t working. When you identify things in your current reality that are unacceptable it becomes easier to identify and motivate change.
- Create the future in full color. Get as detailed as possible with what you want to see happen. Define your vision down to the smallest detail. Paint a picture so vivid that you begin to feel excited, inspired, and maybe even a little afraid, of what you want to create.
Then, step back and evaluate:
- Is the vision concise and clear?
- Does it outline a clear purpose as to why your organization deserves to exist?
- Is it big enough to be compelling?
When your vision is truly compelling, it is the most powerful tool in your toolbox. It can attract new talent and motivate everyone at every level of the organization to stay the course, even when doing so is challenging.