You can’t firefight your way to a company vision

I’ve sat in on more than my share of company vision meetings. So have you.

At some point in the proceedings, usually about a half hour after the discussion of potential directions, futures and markets has begun; you’ll see an Executive biting his lip so hard it is about to bleed. Finally, unable to constrain him or herself any longer, he’ll erupt and spew out a lava-flow of immediate issues.

“I don’t care about a vision, we have to survive today.”
“We need to fire Person X.”
“We need better communications between executives.”
“We’ve got production problems that need to be taken care of now.”
“This is silly to think about when we have immediate payroll and cash-flow issues.”
“Sales are in the toilet and we need to figure out how to make them go up NOW!”

In fairness to this Executive, if a company is always future-gazing, not taking action on obvious opportunities and generally not executing, he has a point. Often you have to survive today to even be able to consider a vision for tomorrow.

But, more often a company’s vision of the future is far too blurry. And you can’t fire and cost cut your way to a vision. That’s why it’s critical to pull your head out of the day-to-day issues and create a crystal clear vision of where you are going and how you are going to get there. It takes time. The answers aren’t always easy. It can be downright frustrating!

But, what the Fire-fighting Executive often discovers is this: Having a vision of tomorrow acts like a compass guiding today’s decisions.

Here’s the bottom-line…

Once you have a clear direction and purpose for your company, every daily decision you make becomes more productive.

What’s your vision?

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