Part 2 of the Road to Resilience Series
Road to resilience series - vision
Following up on the first installment of the Road to Resilience series – Vision, this entry will get you started on creating a program. As we move into the New Year, now is the time to reflect, recharge, and set a strategy for the next twelve months. The business dictionary defines a vision statement as “an aspirational description of what an organization would like to accomplish in the mid- or long-term future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.” And that is great, but I submit a vision statement isn’t enough, and I will share an alternative you should consider.
Let’s face it, we all know that if we don’t plan for where we are going, then we will never get there. Of course, we’ll end up somewhere, but it may not be where we wanted. Hope can get you a long way, but that does not manifest your dreams. Instead, we need to plan for the future to ensure that where we land aligns with what we want to accomplish.
Laying a foundation is hard work
We all know that planning is hard work. Most of you are in business continuity, and we prepare ahead for crisis events. However, many of us are so busy with the tactical aspects of daily work that we rarely focus on the strategic elements of program development. I’m here to tell you it is well worth your time.
It would be fair to ask if I have always engaged in strategic planning. Actually, no. As much as I engage in business continuity, program and personal planning are not always on my radar. However, all of that is changing as I grow older. Now, I understand the value of visioning because as much as I have accomplished, my road has not always led me in the exact direction I envisioned. When I have engaged in organizational management activities, my path forward is always more straightforward and achievable. So, I am here to share my tips on developing the resilience program of the future.
A vision statement, really?
You might be asking, do I need a vision? Like me, you have participated in multiple vision statement sessions with various companies. Most of us find developing a vision statement a laborious and often fruitless endeavor. Yes, we create a meaningful mission, but typically the idea leaves few of us understanding what it means. Worse, we are not clear about how to implement it.
Let me be clear on what a vision statement is and is not. Tactically minded people find it challenging to grasp how to achieve the vision. In his book, Strategic Management, Frank Rothaermel says that, “An effective vision pervades the organization with a sense of winning and motivates employees at all levels to aim for the same target, while leaving room for individual contributions.” It is not a plan for getting there; it is the description of the place you will be. If done right, it is worth the resources to define where you want to get.
The secret to creating a future is now vision
So, let’s get to it. Here are my tips on building the Resilience program of the future by first engaging in a visioning process. “First and foremost is “vision”: from a simple mission statement to a corporate manifesto, a company’s vision is a powerful tool. For example, Google’s modern and infamous slogan: “Don’t Be Evil,” is a compelling corporate vision. Secondly, “values,” while a broad concept, embody the mentalities and perspectives necessary to achieve a company’s vision”, Investopedia.com. That’s all well and good. However, I suggest you need more than a vision statement to be genuinely effective in attaining your goals.
Instead, I recommend a Vivid Vision. If you aren’t familiar with Cameron Herold’s tool, check it out here. It is essentially similar to a visual vision board made famous by The Secret series. You might say, wait, Ashley, that’s too woo-woo for me. However, it’s not. Science has studied elite athletes for a long time and has validated that those who utilize visualization techniques are more likely to obtain their goals. Using the Vivid Vision tool is the same but for a business setting. If you want to know where you are going, you have to understand what it will look like when you get there.
Add creating a vivid vision to your tool box
Cameron Herold likens a vision statement to only having one tool in your toolbox. He says it leaves you, your team, and customers with little insight into the future state. As I did in my recent What To Expect Next Year In 2022 blog, we can all predict the time ahead. However, what I want you to get from this Road to Resilience services – vision installment is an understanding of the importance of conducting strategic planning and bringing the future into the present. Creating a vision is one tool.
Engaging in the Vivid Vision process does more than state where you want to be. Creating the 4-5 page document paints a clear, vibrant picture of where you will be three years from now. It gives you and anyone you work with an access device that projects your future. Taking the time to write down insight into where you will be in three years propels you to attract that reality. This process is leveraged by top leaders globally and is something you can bring to your operation.
Creating a resilient vision
I invite you to add this process to your toolbox. As part of the Road to Resilience series – vision is the first step in designing the program you want for the world we are entering. If you want to learn more about what a Vivid Vision looks like, you can view examples here. It’s time to move beyond the amorphous vision statement and create a reference document that describes the future. Doing this gives you a reference guide as you embark on your journey. Remember, it is not static but flexible enough so that you can adjust how you arrive at the destination.
You will need to decide what Resilience means for your business. It is up to you to determine if it is an upgrade to your business continuity program. Or, it could be a cross-functional collaborative process led by enterprise risk management. It may incorporate disaster recovery, crisis management, risk, and continuity. For future-proofing, it likely builds in Operational Resilience to link into the overall Organizational Resilience. Your company culture and resources will decide the direction, but your vision will align your organization to that great future.
Strategic thinking on the road to resilience
Next in the series, I will provide insight on strategic management and steps you can take to communicate your vision effectively with leadership. Managers often expect strategic thinking, but your ability to share it is critical to successfully achieving buy-in. As Nina Bowman highlights in her Harvard Business Review article, “Showing strategic thinking skills tells your bosses that you’re able to think for yourself and make decisions that position the organization for the future. It assures them that you aren’t making decisions in a vacuum but are considering how other departments might be affected or how the outside world will respond’.
We’ve considered one aspect of strategic thinking, setting the vision. Next, I will share why strategic planning is worth your time as you create a program resilient to disaster events. By developing a roadmap to success, you will ensure your team and stakeholders work towards common goals, milestones, and deliverables. See you in the next series installment. In the meantime, have a peaceful New Year.