“But, I thought, to do planning, the first step was to create some goals?” asked Nicole. “That’s what we have always done.”
I nodded. “That’s where most people start. And goals are important.” I stopped. “How do we make sure we are going after the right goals? And how do we make sure the targets are set high enough?”
“Well, we have to know where we are headed,” Nicole replied.
“Exactly, and that is what we have to define first.”
“There are a number of ways to do that,” I said. “We could take a picture, draw a picture, describe a picture of where we are going?”
“What do you mean?”
“A company I know, just finished a brand new building, something, as a team, they had been working toward as long as I knew them. For years, hanging on the wall, there was an artist’s rendering of that building. That was it. That was the vision. And everyone who walked by or sat in that office knew precisely where the company was headed.
“Year after year, without wavering, that picture stood inside the heads of the management team. It drove them to perform with that single thought in mind. Two weeks ago, they had their grand opening. It is amazing how that single visual picture drove their thinking, their performance, their goals for well over a decade.
“The first step in planning is vision.”