What is your vision?

Vision is necessary for any endeavor. Planning requires vision. “Where do you see yourself in X years?” That takes vision.

We participated in October as thousands of eighth-graders came through the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center for “Imagine the Possibilities.” I’m sure at least one student was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They had the opportunity to meet with professionals from many pathways to give an idea for the students to start building visions of their lives for themselves. A vision that is shared is one that sees growth.

How does a vision become reality? This issue of the Northeast Mississippi Business Journal focuses on personal finance and planning. That requires vision. What do you want accomplished?

Companies need a vision so that they can plan for their finances, their sales strategy, their marketing … the vision overarches all. Employees who understand the vision for the company can make better decisions about what fits well for the company and what does not. This makes for a better working environment for all.

Think of it this way. You have to take a trip. You are driving. The journey is 300 miles. Which is less stressful: a journey during the day with clear skies and a clear view, or a journey at night when the rain is coming down so hard that the windshield wipers cannot compensate for the volume of water being poured upon you? When the vision is clear, the obstacles are easily seen and avoided.

Whether they are written down or not, all companies have a vision, a mission and values. The vision is long-term. The tactics the company takes may or may not be. For example, look at Netflix. Assume its vision is to provide quality entertainment to its customers conveniently. I can remember when Netflix was mailing DVDs to households for a monthly fee. It was convenient since it came directly to an individual’s mailbox. There was no line to wait at a video store. As times and technology changed, it now streams popular movies to its customers, who gets the movies faster since they do not doesn’t have to wait on a parcel delivery. And, it is creating exclusive content for its customers. It is still providing quality entertainment, yet it has changed its delivery system as well as the content it delivers. Amazingly, it has accomplished all of this without a storefront. Its mission may have changed, but its vision has remained constant.

In 1886, door-to-door salesman David McConnell came up with the idea to sell perfume to housewives and started The California Perfume Co. He started hiring women exclusively as the salesforce. In 1932, the company was rebranded as Avon. His sales vision remained, but the way the company sold its products changed.

Do visions change? I like to think they are adapted or amended. Do tactics change? Sometimes more often than we would like.

Write your vision down. Put it in a spot where you can see it every day. Only you will know whether it needs to be changed.

Talk about your vision. Get input on your vision. Share your vision.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,” sang George Harrison in “Any Road.” Conversely, Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” What do you think Walt would think of his vision if he could see his company now?

 

 

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