If you could introduce a relatively small thing to better unite your team, would you do it? What if it also focused everyone on a common goal, boosted communication, differentiated you in a crowded market and increased profitability?
What could possibly yield so much power? Simply put: it is a team vision.
Without a doubt, a team vision leads to better results. In the book The Leadership Challenge, authors Kouzes and Posner stress that organizations with a clearly defined vision are more successful in achieving their goals.
A vision describes what your team is trying to achieve. The best example is NASA’s original vision: to put a man on the moon. Another example is Amazon: to be the earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. And my favorite example is the Canadian Cancer Society: Creating a world where no Canadian fears cancer.
Each of these examples paints a clear picture of what each organization is focused on achieving. Vision statements also clarify priorities and focus resources. This is good for business.
With that said, are vision statements powerful enough to unite teams? There are three compelling reasons why the answer to this question is yes.
Vision statements unite teams by:
- Focusing the team
A common vision rallies your team to focus on a common goal. Teams without a uniting vision, tend not to have a common understanding about where they are heading. They might think they have identified their top priorities, but they likely are not spending enough time on them. They are too busy trying to do countless other things at the same time. As the saying goes, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
- Stretching the team
A vision helps your team image what they are capable of achieving if they pool all of their amazing talents. Without big goals, there is no need to stretch ourselves. Teams that collectively face challenges tend to rally together.
- Connecting the team
The last thing we want on our team is disconnect. Infighting, gossiping and miscommunication all get in the way of achieving great results. A common vision connects a team on a worthwhile goal.
Strong visions are critical, and yet many teams are trying to get by without them. Even when the larger organization has a vision, each of the sub-teams (departments) could benefit from their own version. And of course, these department visions would feed into the larger organization vision.
As Doug Hollenhauer wisely stated in the Globe & Mail: “The goal is to get them to see something to make them feel something, so they can do something out of the ordinary.”
Could your team benefit from a uniting vision statement?