“You can influence your future, but you need 1. A future Vision—clear Vision of where you’re going 2. A sound strategy to get there. 3. Tools to persuade key people to commit to a shared Vision. 4. Effective execution” The Extreme Future, James Canton
James Canton predicts that extraordinary levels of wealth will be available for individuals in the impending Innovation Economy. Business ventures will achieve levels of success that exceed anything we have seen to date. To prevail in our turbulent environment, business owners must possess a deeply ingrained Vision and a well designed strategy to get you to that Vision. In other words, you must make a strategic path through the chaos.
Your thoroughly considered Vision will be your anchor.
Design a clear and explicit Vision
Your Vision is what you become in life. Tony Dungy
Great business leaders are deeply concerned about the future and realize the impact they can have with their business. They realize they can help create the future they desire to have. According to Rich Campe “ All action must start with a thought – the thinking. Just as all life starts with a seed, all actions and results start with a thought. He calls the holder of the seed “the first believer”. There lies the seeds of greatness.
Building your business will require you, the founder, to perform as the “Vision Keeper”. You can do this acting as the leader, using art and management. As you perform these tasks, you will constantly keep your adopted Vision in mind. You, as founder, are carrying the “seed” of your new business. Don’t lose it. Nurture and protect it. Of course a Vision might change somewhat because of environment or innovation, but it’s the founder or “Vision Keeper” who carries the fundamental seed regardless of the influences.
A workable Vision is characterized by specificity. The “holder of the seed’ takes time to carefully visualize, through the imagination, and write a description of what the business will look like in the future.
Examples could be:
-In 5 years, we will have 50,000 customers
-We will have four locations in the cities of Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, and New York
-We will make full use of available AI and other technological advances.
-We will be a leader in our industry
-We will have teams of creative and visionary people
In other words, you’ll need to think of as many details as possible to describe your Vision of the future. I’m sure you can already see how describing the specifics of your Vision will influence what you do on a daily basis in your business. You will work toward creating your desired future.
Most founders create a slogan or short representation of their Vision. This is what you will see displayed around the business to remind all affiliates of where the enterprise is going. Microsoft’s Vision statement is an excellent example. “There will be a computer on every desk running Microsoft software.” This Vision has probably changed a little by now, but it carried this company a long, long way.
Develop a strong Management Strategy
Determine how you and your affiliates will conduct yourselves. This involves determining what “Core Values” are important to your Mission. Core Values can be thought of as the “glue” that holds your organization together. They are the elements that make up your business culture and the character of all of your activities. The essence of how you do business. Do you personally value excellence, integrity, or empathy? These could become some of your important Values. Values support your business Mission and Vision and they also help define how you carry out your day to day operations. Core Values help your business operations run smoothly and, if they are understood, promoted and practiced, will strengthen and sustain your business.
Clearly outline what you want to do. What activities will you engage in on a daily basis? What are your short and long term goals? You will need to set up Systems to follow, if you are experienced in your discipline. You will need administrative, financial, marketing Systems and others according to your business needs. Brief lists of “steps to take” for each System will be adequate for start ups. You can get more detailed as you grow. If you’re not experienced in your chosen discipline, research successful Systems to duplicate initially. Plan to improve, change or eliminate Systems as your business grows. However, try to keep all of your operations as simple as possible for easy enhancement and control.
Determine how you will measure success. We have many ways to measure our finances, product/service quality and customer satisfaction. There are software and apps available to suit every budget. Research the best companies and how they measure progress in your industry to save time and gain more accuracy. You, as founder, will determine what indicators will show whether or not you have reached your targets. You will constantly need to determine if your Systems are performing as expected. According to Mike Kappel in ”6 Ways to Measure Small Business Success”, you will need to carefully study your financial statements, check customer satisfaction, count your new customer growth, and check your employee performance goals regularly. These checks will help you see where you are compared to where you want to be with your business.
Keep improvements and innovative changes in mind as you create your strategy. Your business will never be finished until you decide to stop. You must always continue to study, improve and innovate if you want to remain strong and stable in our dynamic environment. Consequently, your Management strategy will never be finished. It must be a dynamic, documented process, growing and changing as your business changes and grows toward your Vision.
Designing an explicit Vision and a workable Management Strategy will move you closer to the phenomenal success available in the looming Innovation Economy.
“Knowledge, the power of creative ideas, is the currency of the Innovation Economy.” James Canton