How does anything new that you plan in life actually start? It starts with your vision of what you want that to be. So when you have an idea that you want to implement, what you actually try and do is give it some kind of shape and structure. You verbalize what you expect or want the idea to do in the short and then long term. In simple terms, that is what a visioning exercise is.
A vision is a combination of imagination and meticulous thought – both of which are important for an entrepreneur. Why is that so? Because imagination helps you chart out new goals, gives you the risk appetite to explore multiple things and as an entrepreneur you will need to use your imagination at times to come up with solutions that are unique to a start-up!
Similarly, meticulous thought is important to plan better. Spontaneous actions have to be balanced by well-planned and implements ones too. As an entrepreneur, there are so many occasions when you think on some initiative or goal that has not worked out or was not achieved. If you break it down to the reasons for that, usually the challenge would have been the fact that pre-implementation planning did not happen well.
So the vision is the perfect combination of these two factors.
Since your venture is almost like an extension of yourself, you know your business vision well. You know how you reached that vision. But those beyond you – whether it is your team, stakeholders, your investors, potential employees, the business community and the world at large, will only be able to collaborate and connect with your venture when you share it with clarity and precision.
What kind of channels are best suited when you want to share your vision as an entrepreneur in the most effective manner? This will depend on some factors such as –
- Who you are sharing it with, e.g. external audience, internal employees, investors, top team
- Why are you sharing it, e.g. to create awareness, to help people connect with it, to demonstrate business direction
- How frequently has it been shared already in the past e.g. not much, frequently, not at all.
Depending on these factors, here are some approaches or channels you can use –
- One on one meetings– When you are sharing it with your core team, some specific business leaders or individuals, personally talking about the vision to them is the best way. One on one meetings where you can clarify any concerns that the person has about the vision and his or her alignment to it, are the way to go. This also works well if you are sharing it for people to be able to connect with the business goals.
- Leadership team briefings – The vision is what motivates the leadership team to do their best and make the venture a success. They need to believe in it collectively and not just because the entrepreneur believes in it. So sharing it with them in a meeting is also a good way to get the message across.
- Presentations to stakeholders – With stakeholders, a formal presentation or interactive open-house can make the vision sharing more effective. They will need to understand the thought process behind it since they have a role to play in making the venture a success. So your presentation of the vision to them should cover all aspects such as how it will translate into business returns.
- Social media – If you want to share the vision of your venture, from a positioning perspective with a broad audience on a public domain, it can be done effectively via the social media networks. This creates recall in the minds of those who are following your venture’s journey,
- Intranet – The intranet is a powerful communication channel to share messages or information to motivate your employees. Your employees will perform better if they feel a sense of belongingness to your business. This is because the sense of ownership makes them think of the vision as their own.
Communicating your vision is not an easy task because while your understanding of it as the entrepreneur might be flawless, when you share it with others, they might have a different view. So your communication channels should always be interactive and bi-directional.