Have you thought about where you want your practice or firm to be 3-5 years from now? Have you written it down? Have you shared it with your team?
Many businesses create a vision statement. But traditional vision statements are mostly worthless. They are too general, filled with bland platitudes, and provide little to no guidance to anyone as to what exactly it is they are working towards.
Cameron Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? who helped grow it from $2 million to $105 million in six years, has a more effective way to create an actionable vision. He calls it the Vivid Vision.
A Vivid Vision, done correctly, shows to everyone, in great detail, what it is you want to create. It won’t explain how to get there, but it will describe a destination that you and your team can then move towards, aligned and together.
How to Start
When you are thinking about a Vivid Vision for your practice or firm, you need to get out of the office and away from other people. Unplug. Turn off your smartphone and computer. You need to have no distractions for a sustained period. Use ink, not a computer to get your ideas down.
What to Consider
Be open to all possibilities. Don’t be hampered by the way things are or have always been done. It’s your vision, it can be whatever you want. Just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean you can’t. At this stage, think about “where” you want your practice/firm to be not “how” you will get there.
Be specific. Details matter for this. You’re designing the blueprints for everyone to see and work from. Imagine if you hired a builder to construct your dream house. How do you think it will turn out if you merely tell the builder to build the incredible house you have in your mind? Without providing the details, how will the builder be able to know exactly what you want?
Cover every area of your practice/firm: culture, staff, marketing, operations, finance, practice areas, client service, values, employee engagement, work-life balance, etc.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do you see?
- What are clients saying?
- What kind of comments are your team/employees making at the water cooler?
- What is the buzz about you in your community?
- How is your practice or firm running day to day? Is it organized and running like a clock?
- What kind of stuff do you do every day? Are you focused on strategy, team building, client relationships, etc.?
- How are your core values being realized among your team/employees?
When you’ve finished
When you finish your Vivid Vision, share it with everyone on your team – your associates, employees, clients, vendors, etc. You’ll then start to see people align with your vision, and the picture will become a reality.
Sharing your Vivid Vision with your associates and staff will prompt them to make decisions subconsciously that align with your blueprint. Then others outside your firm with whom you share your Vivid Vision will also consciously help you make it happen.
For more on Vivid Visions, check out this really good (and short – around 10 minutes) talk by Cameron Herold explaining the concept of a Vivid Vision. His book – Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future.