What you do today determines the type of organization you can become tomorrow.
It’s hard to conceive of something that has a positive effect today but that can be damaging over the long-term—something that is simultaneously both good and bad. Without a vision, it’s impossible to determine how today’s decisions will contribute to the future. The vision allows you to ask: Does this decision push the organization further towards that ultimate goal? Does it change nothing over the long-term? Does it only benefit the organization today, making it harder to get back on track to achieve the long-term goals?
It may appear like you’re creating progress with each problem you solve and each decision you make, but each of those decisions narrows down the things your brand can be in the future. Without a vision that points to the direction of progress that you want and connects those decisions to that desired future, those decisions can take you off your intended path and make it difficult, if not impossible to get back on track.
Having a vision is especially important in the current environment where executive tenure can be short. Having a long-term vision ensures that a slew of executives doesn’t constantly try and change the direction of the company and create tension among employees and confusion among customers.
This isn’t to say that short-term goals aren’t important—they are because they create concrete things to work towards—but they must be motivated by a long-term vision that is both company-wide and purpose-driven. Short-term goals are waypoints on the road towards achieving a vision. They make achieving a vision manageable.
But, without a vision, it’s impossible to build brands, because building brands requires consistency over the long-term. And, without a brand, you can’t stand for something. And, if you don’t stand for something, customers and employees can’t form a relationship with you. In short: you become replaceable.
Having a vision is the first step to becoming irreplaceable in the hearts and minds of your customers and employees.
Tune in next week—same Cult-Branding-time, same Cult-Branding-blog—when we release our Ultimate Guide To Creating Your Vision.