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Setting a Path for the Future

Collaboratively…to keep people engaged and committedSetting a Path for the Future

How are you working with your leadership team and others in the organization to set a path for the future based on the vision of the company? You need to have goals set that others can embrace and follow – that defines how the company will achieve future success. In this article, we’ll talk about a simple process to set goals and a path to reach those goals.

This process relies on innovation (brainstorming)  and collaboration. It is best used when there are a number of perspectives and potential ideas in order to reach a desired future for the company, and all of those ideas are valid and will help achieve the goals of the company. Use it also when you want to foster innovation and not just have a select few set the goals for the organization.

The process enables for collaboration, innovation and sharing of ideas throughout the business. When people have input into the company’s goals, they are engaged, excited about the future and more likely to help the company achieve it’s goals because they are part of setting those goals. It’s powerful!

Take these best practice steps to get visioning to work for your company:

  1. First, share with the group the vision for the company.
  2. Schedule a session – ideally in an offsite location to reduce interruptions and distractions – for about 3 – 4 hours.
  3. At the beginning of the session, ask participants to respond to questions to get thinking about the future. Have them spend 10 – 15 minutes, working idependently, to jot down there responses. Example questions might be:
    1. If we were the best at serving our customers 5 years from now, what would we be doing?
    2. If we developed the best products and were seen as number one in our industry within the next 10 years, what would those products look like?
    3. If we all worked together well on every initiative we launched, collaborating effectively across the organization to achieve our goals, what would we be doing differently?
    4. If we moved into a new product or service line, what should we move into and why? What will be the impact on the business? How will it achieve our goals?
  4. At the end of the time, ask each individual to share their ideas in response to those questions in a small group. Within the group, select the very best ideas (narrow down to about 8 – 10)
  5. Have each small group share those very best ideas with the group as a whole.
  6. As a group, prioritize those ideas – which help the organizaton to achieve it’s vision? Which ideas are possible given resources, technology, budgets, etc.
    1. Gain agreement on which ideas will be developed further
  7. Assign small teams to work on those ideas – these groups are responsible for developing the action plan to move forward. Make sure those action plans are actionable! They must be specific and detailed.

This approach – which is really quite simple – enables for collaboration and innovation within the business. Getting more people involved enables for diversity, which enables for innovation. And when people contribute – they feel committed and engaged and strive to help the company reach the goals.

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