Five Ways to Use Vision in Creating Culture
Vision is a key ingredient for creating culture at any organization. Having vision is about seeing things that others don’t see. Then it’s important to use that vision as a rallying cry. Because vision paints the future as a picture everyone can see.
It is imperative for a leader to know where to lead the organization. In the process of setting that direction, other benefits are generated as a result.
Here are five benefits your vision generates for your culture.
1. Attracting top talent
Your vision helps you attract top talent. When good people see the direction you want to go, then they may want to join you just because they want to go where you want to go.
When Steve Jobs wanted to recruit Pepsi executive John Sculley to join him at Apple, he presented his offer to him in the context of his vision: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
Jobs helped him see what Apple was doing would change the world. At the same time, Sculley realized that what he was doing—selling “sugar water”—was not what he wanted to be doing.
Your vision paints a picture that helps other people see what you see. And when they see what you see, they will want to follow you so they can go where you go.
2. Onboarding new employees
Once you bring new employees onto the team, it is important to remind them where you are going. As you onboard them, continue to keep the vision fresh and in front of them.
The excitement about the direction of the company helps to set the tone. People who are newcomers to the company need to have that perspective when they come onboard—and they need to keep that perspective for the culture to be maintained.
3. Keeping good employees
When the vision is consistently set in front of employees, they will be more engaged in their work. The very thing that brought them to be part of what you do will be the very thing that keeps them there.
Keeping good employees is about staying focused on the right things. Vision is as much about keeping perspective as it is about getting to your destination.
I used to work for a boss who would remind us at every staff meeting of our company vision. He would paint the picture vividly so we would know what we were doing mattered—and we were there to do something bigger than just showing up nine-to-five.
Getting people to stay with your organization involves continuously keeping that focus on your vision. Make sure that your vision paints the picture that keeps them engaged.
4. Helping everyone see the big picture
Having vision helps you see the big picture. But everyone else needs to see the same picture that you see.
Casting vision helps your team to surmount daily drudgery and to stay excited about working for your organization. Everyone wants to see the big picture, but sometimes they get stuck in the weeds because of the things that they do every day.
Connecting short-term actions to long-term vision is one of the most important actions of leadership. When you can get your team to see how they contribute to the big picture, then you can have a solid foundation for achievement in your organization.
5. Guarding your team from getting stuck
It’s important to prevent the daily grind from grinding to a halt—not because of productivity sake alone, but because of the damage it can do to your culture.
Your team can get stuck in the weeds if they keep focused on their problems. Instead, if they can raise their eyes from their circumstances to the vision they are shooting for, the problems they deal with won’t seem as big.
Vision will help prevent the engine of your organization from seizing up, and it will lubricate the minds of your team so that they don’t get stuck where they are.
Vision is an amazing tool for changing the trajectory of an organization. But you need to embrace its power for creating culture. And that starts with cultivating a vision that paints a picture that everyone can see.
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Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies improve their employee cultures to make the companies healthier, more productive, and more profitable.