No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Vision: How do They See What Isn't Visible?

OK,  we know as leaders that it's our job to set the vision for our team. The problem is, how can we get them to see something that exists primarily in our own heads?

The only tools you have are words. Maybe if your vision is very small ("Let's work towards a new refrigerator!") a picture could work, but any meaningful vision is beyond that. So here's the rule painting a vision with words: They have to be concrete.

Concrete is the opposite of abstract: it means something that can be physically described. Your vision is abstract, so your description of it has to be easily seen in the mind's eye.

So don't say "Our vision is to delight customers," say, "We want our customers so happy they tell other people." Don't say, "We should strive for a zero-defect environment," say, "If we do our jobs right we can get rid of the scrap bins, and our complaint system." 

Your team can picture a time they got such good service. They can visualize the shop without the scrap bins and all the work that goes with them. Those are concrete images, and they're what you need to help them see an abstract vision.

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