I’ve been working with leadership teams for many years as a senior manager, business owner, and management consulting. Throughout this time, I’ve witnessed some amazing things happen among leadership teams with the right ideas and tools in place. I’ve also witnessed stagnation among leadership teams that aren’t willing to change.
As many of you know, I grew up in a family business here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From a young age, I was keenly aware of the power of a business having purpose, strategic direction, and cohesiveness, although I didn’t use those words when I was just an 8-year-old part-timer.
The ability of leadership teams to dream big, establish clear goals, and to be able to execute their plans to achieve their stated goals is still an illusion today for many.
In the early 2000s, my company hired a management consultant to work with us. I was in grad school at the time, learning about many of the concepts we were being taught by our new consultant. The experience of fusing together business principles from the world of academia in real time with the guidance of an experienced management consultant accelerated our business exponentially. The consultant’s name was Gino Wickman, author of Traction.
One of the concepts that has become a foundational best practice for leadership teams is that of having an inspiring vision of the future. Gino taught us how to clarify our vision using something called a VTO. If you’re not familiar with the VTO, buy a copy of Traction and learn about it. I won’t steal Gino’s thunder but I do want to discuss the V.
As you may have guessed, the V stands for vision. Most leadership teams struggle thinking ahead. In my early days of consulting, I was always pushing leadership teams to create 5-year plans. However, I could rarely get a leadership team to think beyond 3 years. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Let me explain.
We’re half way through 2021 right now. You and your leadership will meet this fall to update your strategic plan, which will take you through the end of 2024 if you are only planning 3 years ahead (2022, 2023, and 2024). If you were to do something really big by the end of 2024, this compressed time frame makes it difficult to pull it off. And, because of this, our dreams are restricted to what could reasonably be accomplished in the next 3 years versus what could be accomplished if there was not a 3-year barrier in place.
So, with that being said, here’s the challenge for you: dream big and decide what your business will look like in 2025. That’s 4 years from now. By adding one more year onto your planning horizon, it breaks the mental barrier. Now you have 3 full years to prepare for 2025, which is 50% more time than only having 2 years to plan ahead for a big move. That’s significant.
What will 2025 look like? That’s up to you and your leadership team. Dream big. You have plenty of time. Let us know if we can help. We’re booking strategic planning retreats now this fall and winter.
Something big is brewing… what is it? You tell me. This is your plan we’re talking about, not mine. I do have a plan for 2025 and I’m happy to share it with you as it unfolds. But this isn’t about me. This is about you. What’s your big plan for 2025? Let me know if you’re stuck. We can help.
Now go forth.
Tags: Planning , Future , Dream ,