Vision without strategy is a daydream, strategy without vision is a nightmare

To remain successful in today’s rapidly changing world, it is essential for organizations to have a clear vision and strategy. Often, the importance of involving employees in shaping this vision and strategy is ignored. This is a missed opportunity! Engaging employees in this process leads to greater involvement and motivation. Additionally, it can result in better decision-making, more innovation and ultimately greater success for the organization as a whole. Let me tell you more about it.


The value of employee involvement

Do not underestimate the value of involving employees in the development of a vision and strategy. It ensures that they feel more connected to the organization and its goals. Employees who feel that their voices are heard and know that they can contribute to the future of the organization are more likely to commit themselves and feel responsible for achieving organizational goals. This can lead to higher productivity, better performance and ultimately a stronger competitive position and profitability for the organization.


Additionally, involving employees can lead to better decision-making. Secretaries, facilities staff, managers and directors all have their own expertise and knowledge. These valuable perspectives can help in identifying opportunities and threats, evaluating potential strategies and making informed decisions. By utilizing these insights, an organization can better adapt to market changes and maintain its competitive advantage.


Moreover, involving employees in the vision and strategy fosters innovation. When employees are encouraged to propose new ideas and take risks, this can lead to creative solutions and new approaches that strengthen the organization’s competitive position. By promoting a culture of openness and collaboration, an organization can create an environment where innovation thrives and employees feel motivated to contribute to the organization’s success.


In short, involving employees in developing a vision and strategy is crucial for an organization’s success. Engage employees in shaping the future of the organization to benefit from their knowledge, expertise and commitment. This can lead to better decision-making, more innovation and ultimately greater long-term success. But how do you implement this in practice?


Time to take action

The drafting of a vision is often still done in an ivory tower. The executive team focuses on defining the long-term goals and determines what success looks like in the medium term. In today’s fast-changing world, this is not an effective approach. For a strong vision, multiple perspectives are necessary.


Therefore, the process of developing a vision and strategy should start by involving employees from diverse backgrounds. Include people from different disciplines within the organization and from various roles. It’s also important to engage individuals from different generations, those who have been with the organization for varying lengths of time and those from diverse personal backgrounds. Even customers can be part of this process. This diversity enriches strategic discussions and ensures that a vision is formulated which guides the daily actions of all types of employees within the organization.


It is often thought that developing a vision and strategy is an intensive and lengthy process. However, that is not necessarily true! As it’s often said: well begun is half done. Start the preparation by mapping out the developments affecting the organization. Support these insights with facts and figures. A powerful tool you can use to do this is the Context Map. Then, in a one-day session with a diverse team of 12 to 25 people, you can validate and enrich this context analysis. From there, you move on to defining the vision, the long-term goal: what does success look like in 4 to 10 years? You conclude the session by identifying the ‘big battles to win.’ These are the major challenges that you will face on your way to realize the long-term goal. With the input gathered in this session, you can then refine the vision and strategy with the executive team.


Organizations often lack a clear vision, meaning the vision is not concrete enough to serve as a compass in daily actions. Employees need to be able to visualize what success will look like in 4 to 10 years. Only then can the vision can be used as a framework for making daily decisions to help employees contribute to achieving the vision.


Bringing the vision to life
The ultimate goal for all employees is to know and embody the vision. Simply having a vision written down on paper often doesn’t contribute to achieving this goal. What does help is visualizing the vision to bring it to life. Visual storytelling is a powerful tool for this purpose. For example, the vision can be translated into a vision board, an employee booklet or a vision film. This creates a shared image of the success that everyone is working towards, helping to engage employees effectively.


Finally, it is recommended to set intermediate milestones and create a dashboard. These insights concretely show the progress towards the vision and strategy. Communicate these monthly or quarterly to all employees and show where the organization stands. This not only generates a lot of energy among employees to keep pushing forward, but it also helps everyone determine if the right actions are being taken. If milestones are not met, adjustments can still be made in a timely manner.


In short, take the time to involve employees in formulating a clear and supported vision and strategy. This does not have to take a lot of time and ensures that your organization and its employees receive direction in the many choices they have to make every day.


Want to get started with vision and strategy yourself? Let’s grab a coffee and explore the possibilities. Stay Future Proof is happy to help you create future value.

about the author
Eefje Jonker
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve gained some valuable insights from the article! I’m Eefje Jonker, CEO & Strategy Designer at Stay Future Proof. Want to learn all about strategy, innovation and transformation? Reach out and let’s talk!
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