What is your business all about?

Date: 3-1-2011

Providing clear direction means ensuring that clear and consistent messages are communicated in relation to the direction of the organization and what’s expected of people in order to maximize their contribution within their specific roles in order to help the organization achieve its objectives and fulfill its vision. 

I don’t want to get hung up with the “management speak” or academic interpretation.  Think of vision as equating to a “tagline” for what the organization is all about and what it is seeking to achieve.  Probably one of the best taglines that I’ve come across in recent years has been the following:

Mahera Dental Practice “the reason to smile”.

That works on so many levels!  It conveys a clear message about what this small, regional dental practice is all about, what it hopes to achieve in respect of its customers and the atmosphere that it strives to promote for both its customers and for its employees.

If you are an aspiring leader, even if you don’t necessarily head up an organization, think about what you’re hoping to achieve within your particular area.  What are you responsible for?  If you’re responsible for the reception area of your organization what’s your vision for your particular area?  What do you want to exemplify?

Effective leaders lead by example so make sure if you develop a vision/tagline for your organization or your area make sure that you demonstrate consistently your commitment to ensuring that your vision or tagline is meaningful and is not just empty rhetoric.

Engage and involve people in order to encourage ownership and “buy-in” to your vision.  One example of this that springs readily to mind is the approach taken by (another dental practice) Dental 32 where the business partners Robert and Claire engaged and involved their staff in a meaningful series of discussions that led to a clear and consistent understanding as to what the practice was all about and how everyone, within their specific roles, should contribute to achieving the overall vision for the practice. 

By engaging and involving people in defining the vision or “tagline” for the business (or at least ensuring that they understand what this means for both the business and them) the leader within the organization is sending out a clear message;

“This is what we’re all about and this is what we expect you to live up to and demonstrate on a day to day basis”.

Find out how Zappos has applied this and has grown to be the largest online shoe store.  Sales in 1999 were 'almost nothing' and last year was over a BILLION! 

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