How to Create a Long-Term VisionLeaders understand they need a vision for their company, but it’s easy to lose sight of the long-term as you focus on the things right in front of you, those daily tactics and the weekly results they produce.

Leaders know how to create objectives and goals, but they become challenged when they are asked about their vision for where they want to be in five, 10, even 15 years.

“Many businesses struggle with a lack of direction; the long-term vision gets swamped by the concerns and crises of the moment,” says Karl Stark and Bill Stewart in an Inc. article.

Lack of a strategic vision to help you move your business forward can be detrimental to potential growth and long-term success.

Stark and Stewart offer a few ways to tackle the problem.

What is the Current State?

You can’t establish a long-term vision if you don’t take a look at the current affairs of your business.  Gather facts and opinions on what works well, what needs to be fixed, and what is broken.

Develop Long-Term Priorities and Initiatives

Once your current state has been vetted, it’s important to separate the initiatives that will help you achieve your long-term vision from the ones that clog up time and space.

Create a checklist of everything you’d like to accomplish, then comes the hard part: Pare that list down to the truly important ones.

Align Your Financial Goals

Stark and Stewart recently worked with a new CEO to set the vision and help him translate that into immediate, tangible action.

They aligned the company’s financial goals with a few steps:

  • They worked with the executive to understand his long-term financial goals.
  • They looked at opportunities for penetration and cross-sell, and up sell within the companies target customer base to validate those goals.
  • They broke down the high-level goals into a set of year-by-year financial metrics so they could measure the progress.

Share Your Vision

Once your vision is established, sell it to your employers, investors, and customers.

Your vision drives motivation, so make sure it’s clear. Your vision will inspire your employees and give them something to work toward. They are challenged to meet quarterly, monthly, or even weekly goals, and want to see what they contribute to the company as a whole.

A vision gives employees an opportunity to be a part of something great. Remind them of the big picture on a regular basis and keep them invested in what you want to accomplish. It’s a continuous process for every organization and sometimes as things change, it needs to be reevaluated.

What other tips would you add?

Image credit: Salmando