• Employee Engagement: What is it?

    love-my-job

    We’ve been hearing a lot about employee engagement. It sounds like a good thing, but what is it, really? How do you know when you have it (and don’t have it), and how can you get it? I’m so glad you’ve asked.

    Employee engagement is a condition in which team members feel valued and involved enough with a company to willingly and positively contribute all of their ability for the betterment of the business.

    Sounds great, right? How does an employee come to feel valued and make the decision to invest all of him or herself in their employer’s business? It starts during the job interview, and continues through retirement…and it’s always the responsibility of the employer.

    There is a deficit of employee engagement, and the epidemic is global.

    Only 13% of employees, worldwide, report feeling engaged at work[1].

    This is bad news for employees in general; however, it’s great news for you, an employer. This is a prime opportunity to be the employer who engages, and to therefore attract the best and most dedicated talent to your business.

    As a growing and thriving business, you want your employees to wake up excited to go to work. You want them to arrive ready to go and always be thinking of new ways to improve the customer experience, operational efficiency, your product line and your bottom line.

    Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity2.

    This is what engagement looks like. And here’s how you can get it:

    • Your business has a set of core values that it abides by and demonstrates through all media (or at least it should). Whenever a person is being considered for employment with your company, you must determine if he or she shares those same values as part of their personal and professional credos. When values align, engagement comes much more easily. When they don’t, there will be a struggle…every day.
    • Create a feeling of ownership for every employee, no matter their job description. Whether the team member is head of a department or a new-hire, make it clear how what they do contributes to the overall success of the business. Show them the results of jobs well-done and give them credit whenever they’re responsible or accountable. When everyone feels like a significant part of the effort, they will not only do a better job, they will do it as if they were doing it for themselves.
    • Keeping everyone informed is another great way to nurture engagement. With every piece of relevant information shared (profits, KPIs, etc.), you will increase feelings of value and ownership.
    • Give employees the freedom to come to you with problems, as well as the freedom to make decisions pertinent to their roles and the freedom to be creative with their jobs—without the fear of reprimand. This is the type of environment in which company advocates and forward-thinking innovators are born. Provide this, and you’ll have every employee striving to improve your business.
    • Utilise an open-feedback policy, in which all team members feel the liberty to speak honestly about all matters, whether positive or negative, without fear of repercussion. This not only feels like ownership and feeds engagement, it works toward building a strong brand, overall.

    We have only scratched the surface of employee engagement here. If you’re hoping for more advice on engaging your employees so that you can grow your business more effectively, we should talk. We can accomplish a lot in 30 minutes, and I invite you contact me to schedule that consultation. Your employees will thank you—with higher-level involvement, positive workplace attitudes and a bottom line that proves you’re doing it right.

    [1] Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace

    2Workplace Research Foundation

     

  • Measure your Business: 5 Tips for Making Figures your Friends

    If you want your business to thrive and grow, it must be cared for, tracked, measured, monitored…and nurtured. (1)

    How’s your business doing?

    How do you know? Have you measured your progress? Tracked your conversions, returns and referrals? Compared all numbers to previous periods?  Made adjustments and monitored their effects?

    If you’re like most business owners, you’re canned answer is “Good.” However, you probably have little evidence to back it up, and there’s usually one reason why:

    Tracking your business’s progress is boring and tedious. Plus, it makes you nervous; it’s much easier to coast along, assuming you’re improving every month. There is a fear that measurement will reveal areas that need improvement…or worse.

    All of this is understandable and natural. It’s comfortable to ignore what could be bad news and instead choose to live in the blissfulness of ignorance. However, if you want your business to be successful, to grow…you must measure what matters and use what you find to make adjustments. This is the most direct (and speedy) path to business growth.

    More than half of UK businesses don’t survive past five years,[1] and one contributing factor is the unwillingness of business owners to track their own progress (a.k.a. step on that virtual scale). Improvement is practically impossible without knowing what areas need improvement—and in what order and to what degree.

     

    Tips for Making Figures your Friends

    Tracking the progression (or regression) of your business can be a tricky habit to form. Not only can the undertaking be fear-inducing, it takes time. Here are some pieces of advice for getting starting and staying on-track with tracking:

    • Establish a starting point. Your second measurement will only give you as much information as your first measurement allows. So get going! Launch the analytics. Open a spreadsheet. Start recording this month’s net profits, new customers, returning customers, website visitors, new social media likes/follows/shares/Retweets, referrals, customer complaints, merchandise returns, lead time for order fulfilment, employee turnover, shipping costs…and whatever else will serve as an indicator of your business’s progress.
    • Define your focal points. Determine what three areas of your business are most integral to the fulfilment of its mission, then focus most intensely on those areas. Determine what number(s) will most accurately measure the performance of those areas. Put these at the top of your tracking list.
    • Set improvement goals. After you’ve gotten into the swing of recording your metrics of business performance, set goals for improvement. A 2% net profit increase or a 5% increase in employee retention over the next two years are examples of performance goals.
    • Stay committed. As your business grows, you will try new things and explore new markets. The only sure-fire way to know if any of this is working is to measure the results. AND the only sure-fire way to assign specific results to specific actions is to measure regularly (monthly). Skip your tracking exercises for even one month, and results will be skewed.
    • Utilise a syndicated service. As your tracking becomes more sophisticated, you are likely to benefit from the use of a syndicated tracking and measurement service. Google Analytics is just one example.

    It’s so easy to make excuses—to take a guess at how your business is doing. The unfortunate truth about this behaviour is that your business is likely to join the majority of start-ups laid to rest in the business graveyard.

    If you want your business to thrive and grow, it must be cared for, tracked, measured, monitored…and nurtured. Close attention to the numbers that matter will not only tell you if you’re on track, they will highlight areas in need of improvement so that your business can be the best it can be.

    Need more information on how you can track your business’s progress and use what you learn to grow it? Then let’s schedule a 30-minute consultation, in which we’ll discuss your unique business, your goals and the best way to achieve them. Contact me here.

    [1] RSA (a British commercial insurer)

  • 5 Tips on How to Be More Effective

    Manage yourself and be disciplined in the choices you make about what you do with your time.

    There’s a lot of talk swirling around about time management – but what is it, really? Time cannot be managed. It marches on, whether or not you complete the tasks necessary for executing your business strategy.

    What you can do though is manage yourself and be disciplined in the choices you make about what you do with your time.

    In order to become more effective in our actions, we need to learn to focus on outcomes, with ends not only in mind, but with intense concentration on those ends. This means eliminating distractions.

    We all live in the new age: the “dimension of distraction”.  With the relentless use of email, constant 24/7 bombardment of media from all different channels, and a sense that we need to be connected socially at all times, focusing has become more difficult than ever. In fact,

    The average manager is interrupted every 8 minutes[1] and the average employee spends 28% of their time wrapped up in unnecessary interruptions (plus recovery time)[2].

    These distractions can take up a huge portion of the workday and significantly reduce your level of productivity…if you let them.

    How can you, an entrepreneur focussed on success, eliminate the time you and your employees waste in distracted behaviour? How can you increase productivity? How can you elicit high-level activity for the realisation of goals in alignment with your business strategy? How can you enhance “time management?”

    Here are some tips for achieving all of the above:

    • Dissect every long-term goal into smaller, manageable short-term goals. And then, focus on each one without interruptions. Log out of email. Shut down social media. Silence your phone. Focus specifically, and solely, on the task (goal) at hand, and watch how quickly these things get done without distractions.
    • Designate “open door” times. An open-door policy dictates that you will be available for questions, comments and conversation during a predetermined times (e.g. 3-5 pm). At all other times, your door is closed while you work on executing your business strategy. Remember that every distraction requires five minutes’ worth of recovery. Multiplied over a week’s time, that’s hours of productivity lost.
    • Keep a journal to discover your most productive activities and times of day. Ever notice how some days are more productive than others? And how you seem to be most industrious in some environments (more than others)? Write down where you are, what times you’re there and what you’ve accomplished every day. Look for positive production patterns and repeat them.
    • Follow the 80/20 rule. Remember that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your work and time investment. Find out what’s most important to your business strategy, couple that with your most productive times, places, and tasks…and come up with your very own unique plan for getting the most done in the least amount of time.
    • Replace to-do lists with an appointment book. Appointment books aren’t just for meetings anymore. Use one to schedule tasks necessary to the implementation of your business strategy, and watch your commitment to, and results of, getting those tasks done improve. Block out times to work exclusively on specific tasks, in order of importance. Eliminate distractions during those blocked times. Assign a desired outcome to every time block / task, so you’re continually striving toward a short-term goal.

    Are you struggling with too many distractions on a daily basis and looking for the most efficient way to manage your attention to tasks…and therefore “manage your time?” Then might I suggest that we schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation, in which you and I will discuss your unique business strategy and how to best execute it? Contact me here to schedule an appointment.

    [1] Priority Management

    [2] Basex

  • Failure. Who’s to blame?

    blame

    Turn on any news programme and you’re likely to hear a story about a corporate scandal, political faux pas, horrible accident…and a CEO talking about being responsible, or accountable—or both.

    Here’s the thing: in business and life, there is rarely a situation in which the same person is both responsible and accountable for “what went down.”

    The difference is:

    Accountable: One person is answerable for a project’s success or failure. This accountable person must be capable of giving a complete account of what happened (and how and why). The accountable person reports and monitors tasks as they’re being carried out; however, the completion of those tasks is rarely within this person’s direct power. The accountable person’s main assignments are managing, tracking, and monitoring progress.

    Responsible: A person is charged with completing a task, directly. The person is totally in charge of (responsible for) the task’s success or failure. This person takes hands-on action, and the task’s completion is within his or her direct power. The responsible person generally reports to, and works for, the accountable person.

    In most cases, when a task or project fails, one person is publically accountable for its failure—but is rarely directly responsible for that failure.

    When Donald Trump (U.S. Presidential Candidate) was found to be giving away hats made in China (despite the fact that his campaign touts bringing jobs back to the U.S. from China), he was held accountable for the faux pas—even though he was not responsible for ordering those hats. (He may have been just as surprised as the public to see those tags.) Mr. Trump, because of his position, was required to take accountability for that campaign failure. He was not, however, required to be responsible for it.

    We exist in a business (and life) culture centred on placing blame. When something goes right, we want to take credit. When something goes wrong, finger-pointing ensues. I believe this culture has contributed to a lot of the confusion surrounding accountability and responsibility. And this confusion has, in turn, contributed to an overall lack of accountability.

    However, if we were to increase our knowledge around these concepts, we might be more inclined to put them to work. Consider this:

    The probability of reaching a goal is 95% when a specific accountability appointment is made[1].

    In other words, if someone is made explicitly accountable, a project is more likely to be completed—regardless of whether or not that person is responsible for its completion.

    It can help to remember that, generally, managers are accountable and workers are responsible. This doesn’t mean that managers are never responsible—they often have their own tasks outside the projects they’re accountable for.

    Every task must have an accountable party and at least one responsible party assigned to it. In order to keep projects and tasks on-schedule (to properly carry out the business plan), many business owners and managers have turned to the RACI matrix—a method for organising and tracking the completion of tasks. Here’s how it works:

    • R (Responsible): the worker, the person in charge of completing the task
    • A (Accountable): the manager, the person in charge of managing and tracking progress
    • C (Consult): the person whose consultation is necessary for completing the task (2-way communication before the task can be completed)
    • I (Inform): the person who is informed when the task is completed (1-way communication that may result in their starting of another task)

    In order to create your own RACI matrix, simply list tasks down the left side, people involved along the top, and assign each cell with one A, at least one R, and Cs and Is as necessary. Here’s an example:

    Project ABC

    John Blair Sandy Rob Jenny William
    Interview A R

    I

         

    Case Study

    A I R

    C

       
    Press Release

    A

    R

    C

         
    Campaign A C     R

    R

     

    • John is accountable for the ultimate completion of Project ABC. He must oversee all tasks and monitor them to ensure they’re being completed.
    • Blair will conduct the interview, and he will inform Sandy when it’s finished so she can proceed with the research and writing of the case study.
    • Sandy will consult with Rob for the case study, and will inform Blair as soon as it’s done so he can start on the press release.
    • Blair will consult with Sandy about the case study, so he can write a thorough press release.
    • Jenny and William will consult with Blair in order to create a marketing campaign.

    It’s always helpful to share the RACI matrix with all involved before any project is started, to ensure that everyone understands their role(s). This will promote a smooth workflow, will cut down on the “passing of the buck,” and will help to ensure that clear, defined action is taken in order to fulfil the business plan.

    Are you wondering how a better understanding of the difference between accountable and responsible can help you to get things done, in pursuit of business success? Then I invite you to schedule a 30-minute consultation with me. Let’s talk about your business plan, and how implementing it with purpose and efficiency can contribute to your ultimate success. Contact me here.

    [1] American Society of Training and Development

  • Sat Nav for Business Growth Strategy

    Isabel Knich coaching

    Your business growth strategy is what you want and need to do to achieve the growth you desire.  Is it devised after thorough and extensive industry and market research to identify what is required to increase your access to more customers, more talent and more capital—the three things that most companies need to grow their business.

    As we have discussed in earlier blogs, in order for your business growth strategy to succeed you need to have some key elements in place:

    • You need to know WHY you’re in business…your desire.
    • You need to establish a clear VISION for where you’re going…your destination.
    • You need to identify your core VALUES that will show HOW you are going to deliver your vision…your drivers.

    After you have put these elements in place, it’s time to create your PLAN:  WHAT you’re going to do to move toward realising your vision.

    Your plan is the map showing the route you need to take to get you to your desired destination.  It sounds obvious to have a map or to use a sat nav to get to a place you have never been to before, but it is astounding the number of businesses who don’t have any sort of plan for getting to their desired destination. But then, many businesses also don’t know where they are heading. Remember that a having a vision in place is crucial.

    In many cases, stopping to take the time to create a plan isn’t a priority for management.  However, as you may have experienced in your car, finding your way when you are lost without a map is really very hard. You need that map; you need that sat nav—you need it to make the plan that will get you there.

    So what sort of plan do you need to create?  There are many different types of plans that you could use. The best ones, however, are those that are clear, short and easy to follow.  They should plainly state your destination, which can vary depending on the time frame, but the goals or outcomes that you want to achieve should be clearly stated as objectives.

    The specific strategic goals in your plan are then the places you know you need to get to on route to reach your final destination. They are your pit stops; the necessary stopovers that will contribute to the success of the arrival at your final destination (your vision).  For each goal, it is important that the objective is clearly stated with a timeframe (for more information about setting SMART goals, click here).  After all…

    A goal without a plan is just a dream.

    Do you want to turn your business’s dreams into reality? If so, then read on to learn how you can achieve your business growth goals with the help of a strategic plan…your Sat Nav for your business.

    Sat Nav for your Business

    As any good sat nav should, your plan will represent the fastest route by which you can get to your desired destination. It will help you to stay on track and, most importantly, get you back on track if you lose the right road along the way.

    To keep you focused on the right path, your plan should include the statement of your why, your vision and values. These help to keep the focus on the bigger picture and create a greater context for the actions that you and your team need to take to achieve your vision through your plan.

    Here are a few points to flesh out what I’m talking about:

    • Every strategic goal should have a champion—that is, someone who is committed publically to making it happen. The goal champion is accountable for the achievement of the goal (albeit not necessarily for all of the actions to ensure its delivery).
    • Every strategic objective or goal should be accompanied by specific milestones to achieve it over the months ahead. This helps create focus points along the way.
    • The entire business plan should be reviewed regularly with the team, (monthly at a minimum) to ascertain whether the work toward each objective is advancing and what obstacles need to be overcome to keep moving forward.
    • Progress on actions taken for each goal should be measured every month to continue progress in each area.
    • All employees, not just ‘the team,’ should be made aware of the business growth plan. If people know where they are heading and that there is a plan to follow to get there, everyone is much more likely to want to engage and support the champions for each goal so that the objectives are delivered.

    A business growth action plan is a well-defined and specific step-by-step set of actions for implementation. Whilst you may go off-course some of the time, your plan will help you to stay focussed on where you want to get to and help you get back on track and determine the next action. With the right plan, this creates the structure and discipline for efficiency (doing things well) and effectiveness (doing the right things) to achieve your goals and vision. Your plan—like a sat nav—will always be there to guide you and take you to where you have decided you need to go.

    Are you ready to design your plan for WHAT you need to do to realise your business growth strategy? Or are you ready to improve a plan that perhaps hasn’t been working so well for you? You may be wondering where to start, what road to take first, and how to strategise your route for the fastest and most effective way to get to your destination…your goals and vision. Please contact me via email or phone for a free 30-minute consultation. We’ll talk about how you can get clear on the plan for growing your business, with a sat-nav-type guidance system that will guide your business in the direction of unprecedented success.

     

     

  • Values: Vital for a Driven Business

    images

    When we talk about being driven in a business sense, we think of moving forward with intense desire, toward a destination, and acquiring valuable things along the way…things like experience, connections, notoriety, revenue and more.

    When you know Why you’re in business, then you can move onto creating the How—which is predominantly determined by your core “drivers” (i.e. Values). When the values of your business are clearly defined and so deeply embedded within your professional operations that every interaction demonstrates those values, then the question of How? is more easily answered, because all things will be executed in alignment with those corporate values.

    Consistency is HUGE when it comes to the success of any business, and when values take a central role in decision making (for all parties involved), then there will be common threads that run through all operations. Your ideal customers will take note of this, and will come to trust your business as the go-to in the industry because they know what to expect and can respect your way of doing business because they share the values your brand demonstrates. Those same clients will then spread the word to others who share those values, working to bring more ideal customers on-board to grow your business and drive it forward. When values are at the core of every manoeuvre and professional relationship, the snowball effect is practically undeniable.

    When Values are Core to your Standards of Doing Business, then you have a Values-Based Organisation in which…

    Loyalty begets Loyalty.

    Growth begets Growth.

    A values-based organisation sounds great, right? Everyone should have one, right? Well, there are reasons that some companies that say they are values-based simply aren’t able to make it work. Here are a few of those reasons:

    • A Lack of Honesty: If you’re operating under the guise of values you’ve chosen just because you think that’s what your audience wants to hear, or because those values seems to be ‘trendy’ at the moment, you will be found out. Trust will disintegrate, as will your brand. Instead of putting values down on paper that you pull from exterior sources, pull values from your heart. Choose values that you hold dear, and that you naturally demonstrate every day without prompt. These are the values that will motivate you to drive They are also the values that will foster authentic professional relationships that will be enjoyable as well as profitable.
    • Hiring without Attention to Values: If you want your entire team to drive forward with a common goal and with true allegiance to your business’s purpose, they must share your corporate values. Without this, how can they genuinely support and build your brand? How can they stand behind your brand, make decisions that will grow your brand, seek out opportunities that will benefit your brand…champion your brand? Skipping this step is like marrying someone with the intention of ‘changing them.’ It rarely works, and the business is usually the biggest casualty.
    • A Lack of Focus: Let’s face it: there’s a lot of noise out there. The competition is doing this, the market is doing that, the industry is moving in this direction, the community is moving in that All of these external influences, and many more, can detract focus from How you have committed to accomplish your Why They can cause you to lose sight of your values, and to make decisions that harm the consistency and trustworthiness of your company. Stay focussed by making your values visible to all involved, so that they are top-of-mind at all times. Meet regularly to discuss the team’s adhesion to values. Monitor, measure and refocus when necessary.
    • An Emphasis only on the External: There’s a tendency amongst businesses to hyper-focus on what the public sees, with little attention paid to values that are demonstrated internally. In truth, the unwillingness of any team member to adhere to corporate values will eventually manifest externally. Alignment is crucial, inside and out.

    Your business growth strategy cannot exist [for very long] without a How, and that How is facilitated by an honest, working list of values. Your corporate values may be integrity, excitement, fun, adventure and friendship. Or they might be accuracy, reliability, helpfulness, teamwork and knowledge. No two lists are alike, and yours will be no exception.

    Have you clearly defined your corporate values? Do those values align with your vision? Do your team members, affiliates and clients share those values? For help with these questions and more, contact me via email or phone to have a free 30-minute consultation. This is a brilliant way to become clearer on the core values that will drive you and your team toward delivering a highly effective business growth strategy.

     

     

     

     

  • Are You Brave Enough to Develop your Leadership Skills?

    Facing the challengeAs a business leader you will have spent time learning some hard skills to be effective at managing your business. For instance: technical skills to deliver your product or service, managing the supply chain, basic accounting skills, budgeting, ensuring compliance in your industry, marketing and sales skills and many similar functions.

    What you may not have done whilst running and growing your business is spend time mastering soft skills that support your ability to communicate effectively, prioritise tasks and create aligned high performance teams. Unfortunately, the perception is often that “soft skills” are, well…soft and fluffy, however they are just as crucial to business success as the more recognized “hard skills”.

    Make no mistake learning and developing these so called soft skills is anything but soft. Learning these leadership skills is extremely challenging as it requires you to step out of your comfort zone and change your thinking, beliefs and behaviours to get the results that you want.

    So I always ask leaders before they embark upon a leadership skills programme with me:“How brave are you?”

    • Are you brave to take the right decisions as a leader, even if they are not the easiest?

    • Are you brave enough to let go of the levers of power to allow your staff to take on greater responsibility?

    • Are you brave enough to listen, consider and accept someone else’s opinion?

    • Are you brave enough to be responsible and put your hand up when things don’t go as planned?

    • Are you brave enough to be accountable and do whatever it takes to get the task done – no excuses?

    • Are you brave enough to have a meaningful conversation and ask your employees what they really think?

    If you want to be a great leader these are just some of the questions that you will need to ask yourself every day to lead you people and business to success.

    “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Churchill

    So what are the key soft leadership skills that you will need to master to become a great leader?

    1) Promote change – Want to, be willing to and believe that change is possible. Change starts from within changing your mind set and then changing the mind set within the organisation. Be the change you want to see.

    2) Inspire and motivate otherscreate a vision that is compelling so that employees have a purpose and know that what they do has an impact on customers and communities.

    3) Be authentic – tell the truth to your staff and always walk your talk.

    4) Manage yourselfself-awareness brings its own rewards and the more that you can manage yourself and the better you will be able to manage and lead others.

    5) Drive for results and be accountable – always do what you say that you are going to do and be accountable to your staff and customers. Focus on getting results not giving or accepting reasons. Make things happen!

    6) Be responsible – be willing to own up to mistakes if you make them. Take responsibility for your actions.

    7) Communicate powerfully and prolifically – whatever the method: 1:1 conversation, team meetings, email messages, phone or Skype calls, or anything else, just communicate regularly with your staff.

    8) Build relationships – we live in the era of connectivity and collaboration. The stronger your relationships with the members of your team, your customers and suppliers, others in your industry, and your community the better a leader you will be.

    9) Empower others – listen, support and encourage your team to step out of their comfort zone. Look for talented employees and give them the chance to learn and develop new skills. You are training them to become your company’s next generation of great leaders.

    10) Be focused and committed – learn to prioritise the important but not urgent tasks and commit to getting them done.

    11) Innovate – continually look for how you can improve and do things better, in your company, in your community, in the world.

    12) Look for solutions – don’t accept problems or moaners in your company– always focus on supporting your staff to find the solutions.

    So how brave are you? Are you willing to step up and work on developing your soft leadership skills and being the best leader you can be?

    Contact me via email or phone to have a free 30-minute consultation to find out how you can develop your leadership skills to help you accelerate the growth of your business.

  • Vision, Critical for your Business Strategy

    Vision Strategy Innovation Signpost Shows Business Leadership And Ideas

    If you’ve ever planned a business trip, you will understand that knowing your destination is essential to making it a productive endeavour. Without knowing where you are heading, you might end up wandering the globe indefinitely searching for the right conference room.

    On the other hand, maybe you have set out on a road trip without a particular destination in mind. These days can be fun if you have no specific goal in mind and the intention is to just wander around seeing where you end up and enjoying the ride as you go along.

    Now whilst meandering along on a road trip can have its benefits, let’s be serious: your business growth strategy is not intended to be an adventure in wandering, it is intended to help you arrive at a predetermined place of your choosing.

    Once you’ve determined WHY and are inspired to move forward, the next step is to establish specifically WHERE you are going—in the form of a clear and ambitious destination. Your business strategy will span the gap between WHY, which is a belief, and WHERE, which is the vision of where you wish to arrive.

    Having a Vision is essential to creating and delivering a business growth strategy that will work; however, not just any vision will do. Consider these points before moving forward:

    Your vision must be compelling to your staff. When any team works hard (and works together) to win, you can presume that they share the same vision. Sharing the same vision as a team means travelling in one common direction, toward a common goal. And there’s a way to encourage every team member to do so: Provide them with a compelling vision. It must be something they want to achieve. If the vision is exciting and your team members share common values with your business, you are more likely to accomplish your goal because everyone will get behind the effort.

    Your vision must be big and inspiring. You’ve heard about short-term goals and how important they are to progress. This is different. This is about your main vision for what your brand will accomplish, big-picture and long-term. When a vision is too small (i.e. too “safe”), people tend to get stuck on small obstacles because the vision isn’t desirable or grandiose enough to inspire them to push through or work around those obstacles. When NASA communicated its vision to land a man on the moon, they did it. They probably wouldn’t have accomplished that had they simply endeavoured to create a vehicle that could fly into space.

    Remember: Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you will land among the stars.

    Small Vision = Small Result. Big Vision = Big Achievement.

    Your vision must be clear. It can be tempting to name a vision that’s vague, because if the destination isn’t clear, we tend to feel like “getting close” equals success. To the contrary, having a clear vision with well-defined anticipated results will provide you with clearer answers to choices, a clearer path to the next step, and a business strategy more clearly understood, because it’s more specific in what it intends to accomplish.

    Your vision must come before your strategy. This was mentioned earlier, but it’s worth repeating. You will have difficulty arriving at a destination that has not been identified. For this reason, establish your vision first, and then build your business strategy around achieving it. Reverse this process, and your focus will naturally fall on the strategy and how difficult the obstacles seem. There will be no motivation (vision) for navigating around them.

    As you develop a vision statement for your company, think about how you want others to see your business in the future. Some of the most compelling business vision statements are about how to improve or inspire customers’ lives, or about offering best-quality products and services. Below are some great examples of well-known company vision statements:

    Amazon: “To be the world’s most customer-centric company.”
    Ben and Jerry’s: “Making the best possible ice cream, in the nicest possible way”
    Disney: “To make people happy.”
    LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals and make them more productive and successful.”
    Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

    Are you clear about your business vision? Do you feel that you have the tools necessary for discovering it? Often, a bit of outside help can be just what you need to move you toward uncovering your destination. Contact me via email or phone to have a free 30-minute consultation to become clearer on the vision that will fuel your business growth strategy.