I'm excited! Why? Because moving an organization from conceptual visions to feet-on-the-ground action is one of the things I most enjoy. It is the true process of bringing something into existence from nothing. In the busyness of the workplace, so much can get lost in the movement from vision to goals to tactics. Departments, managers and entire companies get so caught up in the day-to-day operations, that they often lose focus on maintaining a clear, strategic path toward accomplishing their vision. This article will outline some simple steps to help companies fulfill their vision in a productive and organized manner.
First of all, we need to understand the difference between these key terms. What is a vision versus a goal versus as tactic?
Vision: Company vision is the big picture that describes where the company wants to go, how it wants to grow and what it wants to provide in ever-expanding ways. Company visions should inspire the leadership and the entire workforce behind a common theme or set of goals.
Goals: Goals break down the vision into actionable steps. They provide the structural framework for how a company will get from where they are to the vision they hold.
Tactics: Tactics are the "nuts-and-bolts" of the goals. They are the exact, specific action steps outlining how a goal will be fulfilled, broken down into minute and manageable detail.
It is in the translation of these three steps that most companies falter. Tremendous commitment is required to stay the course and not get bogged down in the day-to-day operations. This is where strong leadership is essential. Here are 4 steps to stay the course of moving from vision to tactics:
1. Establish a leadership group whose sole purpose it is to keep the company focused on the vision-to-goals-to-tactics process. However, the leadership group must consist of individuals from all levels of the organization. This will help ensure that the vision to tactics process becomes part of the company culture and not just a "top-down" mandate of where the company is going. The group should have an appointed chairperson responsible for coordinating meetings, distributing agendas and minutes and fundamentally keeping the process moving by holding people accountable to what they commit to doing.
2. Establish goals, get buy-in. Have the leadership group establish a set of goals with timelines. It is best to operate with three-year timelines, as going out beyond that often leads to lack of momentum. The leadership group should establish goals and get buy-in through smaller focus group type meetings where everyone gives input. Employees want to feel connected to the larger vision and to see their contribution as meaningful to something greater than their daily duties. Establishing ownership of the vision and goals will make the next steps of establishing and operationalizing tactics seamless.
3. Translate goals into specific, action-oriented tactics. Tactics are the action items that will bring your vision into manifestation. While breaking the vision into goals helps to clarify and concretize process, going a step further to define specific tactics is the key to forward movement. Most people cannot operate from concept to completion, but need direction to know they are on the right track. Your company's progress will be heavily contingent upon your capacity to do the hard mental work of breaking down the goals into small action items, assigning them a time frame and a person or team responsible for completion.
4. Hold monthly leadership team meetings to keep the momentum going. This process will quickly come to a halt without consistent follow up and follow through. When the team knows that there is a monthly accountability meeting, they are more inclined to show up with progress toward the goals completed. It is useful for the leadership group leader to send out reminder emails at weekly intervals encouraging people to stay in action around their piece of the vision.
When I was a manager of a hospital unit, my leadership team created the vision of beautifying our physical surroundings. We created the goal of getting new furniture, art work and window treatments to enhance the visual aesthetic of our unit. Then the team came up with the tactic of sending a monthly petition to the hospital administration requesting funds for beautification. The energy on the unit was high because everyone felt they had a hand in creating a more pleasant workplace and a more pleasant stay for patients. Within three months, the leadership team received the new items which were selected by a group of employees and even some patients who showed interest in the project. They accomplished this vision by establishing a goal and then employing the tactics they outlined.
Consistently moving your company along the path from vision to tactics is a central component to organizational growth. Doing so with clarity and full participation creates an energy and synergy that not only sustains the company, but feeds the heart and soul of each person engaged with the process. It is one of the many ways that a company can enhance engagement of the people who commit their careers to serving your company's mission.
About Author / Additional Info:
Jackie is a gifted, intuitive, and spiritually enlightened speaker, teacher, trainer, and coach.
Jackie transforms people's lives by teaching them how to listen to their souls, commit to their
heart's path, honor their passions, and design a life filled with infinite possibilities!