Most business owners spend their time managing their business in the today – today’s revenue, today’s clients, today’s sales – today’s issues.

Whilst in many ways understandable and important to focus on the Today, the implication of short-term focus is lack of planning for the future. This lack of planning and strategic will impact on all of today’s choices:

  • who you hire,
  • what investment you need,
  • what clients you really want.

Everything about how you run your business today. It is vital that you start with the end in mind.

“A great player skates to where the puck is going to be” (Wayne Gretzky, Canadian Ice Hockey player)

Yes, I can’t believe I’m still quoting him – but he’s right!

To achieve why you really set up your business – your legacy – you need to define it!

What is a Vision?

A supposedly obvious question – but one that comes up with many different answers when we ask our clients.

The definition we use at Ferarrio Consulting is:

“A picture of a destination around which all are aligned and energised to act”.

Unpacking this statement, in itself, gives more strategic insight into what needs to be included in creating and achieving the Vision.

The destination – what do you really want it to look like – be creative and build the picture.

All – the partners/owners set the vision but all in the business need to be connected to it – engage them and include them so that they feel involved too.

Aligned – agreement and alignment at the partner/owner level is key. And in 90% of the cases they are – and even if they aren’t it opens the opportunity to make different decisions today.

Energised – probably the most important point. The vision needs to be an Audacious Goal – but shouldn’t be seen as completely unachievable. Always check the energy attached to your destination. How will it feel to achieve it?

Why is included in a Vision?

It’s not just a statement of vision or mission that is laminated and stuck on the wall. It is a detailed description of what you want to build and grown. It includes many aspects. To name a few…

  • Planning for exit or sale – knowing your equity value – even if you don’t want to sell – is hugely energising!
  • Planning for growth geographically
  • Planning for growth in capability/expertise.
  • Planning for structure and partnership.
  • Planning for reaching the ideal client.
  • And planning for achieving the purpose of the business over and above commercial results– rarely defined in businesses but always present.
  • And so much more…..

The importance of Reflection  

Often clients we have worked with think there is a lack of alignment within the partners at a firm. Simply taking the time out to reflect and discuss what each partner wants personally, commercially, and culturally in itself creates a greater clarity.

Knowing where alignment is and where there are areas of difference, the ability to discuss them can often create solutions that are appropriate for the individuals, the partnership team and ultimately the business.

Why, What and How

The Vision conversation is the WHY conversation – what is it we want to achieve in the future not just tomorrow.

It is not the WHAT or HOW conversation. Avoid mixing the 3 conversations in 1 meeting – this would disable the vision conversation by limiting creativity and causing more questions “We can’t possibly achieve that; we don’t have the time” “But how would we do that” “We don’t have the resources”.

The best Vision/Why conversations only allow Why conversation – so it’s not de-railed.

Once clear you can move onto the What and the How – in that order too by the way!

What to do now

Take some time out of the day to day.

Challenge and ask yourselves what you really want to build.

Then with that context in mind – make the right strategic decisions to achieve that…

“Skate to where the puck is going to be” – oh no I did it again! 😊