Transform Business Chaos into Focus

Man sitting at top of mountain watching sun rise above clouds

There are days when you just feel like throwing in the white towel, locking the door, and turning off all your devices. Then reality kicks in, you have deadlines, and you get back to work. 

You power through, but know there has to be a better way. 

Last year, I worked with a client who felt overwhelmed. John (not his real name) described his relationship with his business as a drunk octopus throwing darts, hoping to hit the mark. He felt like he wasn’t even hitting the board. At least he never felt like anything was working. 

He decided to go on vacation. LOL, a great way to solve the problem. It was on this vacation that he knew that he needed help. 

He was doing many things well, but his focus was scattered. He didn’t have simple ways to know whether to take on a new project or say no. This hurt employee morale and his own sanity

This is a common issue with talented people. They can do many things well, like tackling new problems, but they are not usually great for a business.

Every leader must learn what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to.

This requires having frameworks in place to help you make good decisions.

Ever felt like you’re trying to navigate the murky waters of company growth without a compass? 

Fear not! I’m about to introduce you to your new best friend: the V.O.S.I. method. It’s not just a framework; it’s your business’s guidance system to reach your North Star, guiding you from “What on Earth are we doing?” to “Wow, we’re really doing this!” 

Vision

Opportunities

Systems

Iteration

Blockbuster Movie

Imagine if your company was a blockbuster movie. The Vision phase is where you get to script the grand finale – what you want to accomplish. It’s your roadmap, mission, and goals all rolled into one epic adventure. But, as in any good story, there are obstacles. 

A few years ago I put all my extra energy into being more grateful to everyone that worked with me. I wouldn’t always succeed. Sometimes the complaint of my direct reports, contractors, wife, kids, job, would pop into my head, but instead of feeding into it, I would notice it, and think about what I’m grateful for about them.

On one particularly rough morning, during a team meeting, I got snippy with someone who asked me a question. My first reaction was to defend my actions then I paused. As I was about to end the meeting I apologized to everyone and said that I let my ego get in the way and that I should be better. I thanked them for their hardwork and I could feel the energy rise in the room.

If I hadn’t had the vision to be a leader who focused on appreciating others, I the culture of the team would have suffered. I might have lost a good employee to another company because they didn’t want to put up with me.

Your Vision

Having a vision of what your company is aiming for is vital to success, and maybe just as vital is having a vision for the type of leader you want to be at work.

Having a vision in business is akin to setting your compass before embarking on a voyage. It’s not just about knowing where you’re going; it’s about understanding why you’re headed there and what you hope to discover along the way. 

A vision acts as a north star, guiding your business through the tumultuous seas of the market. It ensures that every decision, no matter how small, aligns with the ultimate goal of the organization. This clarity of purpose helps avoid getting distracted, causing friction, slowing you down, and keeps all efforts focused on moving in the right direction.

Good Storytelling

One of the most important aspects of a good vision is crafting a good story that people can support. It inspires people when they are wavering in their connection to their work. When employees understand the bigger picture and how their work contributes to it, they’re more likely to be engaged, passionate, and committed to their roles, driving productivity and innovation.

Having a vision is essential for effective strategic planning. It helps in setting long-term goals and objectives that are ambitious yet achievable. Decisions on resource allocation, prioritization of projects, and strategic initiatives all stem from how well they serve the vision, ensuring that the organization’s strategy is cohesive and forward-looking.

Good decision-making doesn’t come easily when making them in the context of what the company’s needs are. It’s easier to make a good decision when you understand the vision, standards and expectations of the company. Imagine going to a restaurant for dinner and the menu has unique dishes that you’ve never tasted before. How do you decide? Maybe you just guess or you ask the waiter or you research the dishes on your phone. That’s what happens when a company doesn’t have clear vision for it’s employees. They make guesses. Not educated guesses.

Options

A clear vision helps leaders evaluate options based on whether the task/project will advance the vision. This can simplify complex decisions by filtering out distractions and focusing on what’s truly important, leading to faster, more confident, and more coherent choices.

Adaptability is a core value that most businesses take for granted. They think people should adapt quickly no matter the decision. They can’t adapt if they aren’t sure why they should adapt. A vision isn’t just a fixed point in the distance; it’s a beacon that can adapt to changing circumstances. It allows businesses to remain flexible in their methods while steadfast in their purpose. This adaptability is crucial in a fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, ensuring the company can pivot as needed without losing sight of its ultimate goals.

Belief

People and investors are drawn to leaders with a clear, compelling vision. It signals ambition, direction, and a sense of purpose, attracting talent eager to contribute to something meaningful and investors who believe in the vision’s potential to produce significant returns. The key aspect is great leadership and branding. When people feel drawn to the vision they believe in the brand, they will often stick by it even when they don’t have a great experience.

A great brand makes marketing so much easier. It tells customers what the company stands for and where it’s going. This transparency and sense of purpose can build deep loyalty among customers, differentiating the brand in a crowded market and fostering a community of advocates.

In essence, a vision in business is not just about setting goals but about creating a culture of purpose-driven decision-making, innovation, and resilience. It lays the foundation for sustained success by ensuring that every choice made is a step towards realizing a bigger picture, a dream that everyone in the organization is striving to achieve.

Recap

Your vision for your work helps you make better decisions. Now it’s time to make this a reality. Do you have a vision statement for your team? Does your company have a vision statement? 

When is the last time you revisited your vision statement? Does it still align with the goals of the company?

Here are vision statements from successful companies:

LinkedIn

To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

Starbucks

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

X (Twitter)

To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, instantly, without barriers.

TripAdvisor

To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.

Tesla

To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Sweetgreen

To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.

This process can seem daunting, but it’s worth your time. I suggest setting time aside with your core team and work on this together. Don’t get too caught up in making it perfect. Have everyone write down when they think the updated or new vision should for the company. Make sure everyone discusses their reasonings.

Is it time to review your vision statement or write one?

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The next steps will be to focus on the right opportunities to grow your business. You can read step 2 (Opportunity) in the VOSI method here. Read System (Step 3) and Iteration (Step 4).

You can sign up for weekly updates so you can download the quickstart guides, which will help you develop a roadmap and learn the basics of creating SOPs to streamline your process.

Image:

Courtesy of Joshua Earle on Unsplash.

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