Develop a guiding vision so that you can define exactly what you want to achieve. When you work towards a precisely defined target, you work smarter ... and you work more productively. By creating a vivid vision of where you want to go, you create an all-important sense of purpose. Without it you won’t see the marketplace potential or its opportunities.

“My vision is to have a personal computer on every desk in the world,” said Bill Gates in 1975.

A vision isn’t about predicting the future. It’s about creating the future by taking action now. A vision is the difference between taking short-term action to improve your bottom line and long-term strategic change. It translates your strategies into a way of business life.

The sense of purpose projected by your vision will guide you steadfastly towards a profitable marketplace niche. To create a vision you need:

  •  the ability to maintain focus despite fierce competition in the marketplace;

  •  the courage to take risks;

  • analytical skills, and

  •  intuition

Intuition gives you the ability to peer into the future marketplace and predict trends.

Visionary planning gives you the ability to see a need in the marketplace, and take the action to satisfy it ... it provides a mental framework that gives form to the future. It paints a clear picture of where you want to go.

Don’t allow traditional planning based on the past to lead you and your business into the future. “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”. Sharpen your visionary planning skills by finding a quiet place to dream ... to unlock your creative potential, which requires rethinking the way you think.

Visions that allow you to transform today’s reality won’t come to you in a flash. Practical visions are born from an intensity or preoccupation. However, not all your visions will strike gold. You’ll only get where you want to go by taking risks, making mistakes and getting things wrong.

The quickest way to get someone’s undivided attention is to make a mistake. Architects cover their mistakes with ivy. Lawyers visit theirs in jail. Ad execs put theirs on TV. Cooks cover theirs with sauce. Doctors bury theirs.

The biggest mistake is the fear that you will make one. He who never fails will never grow rich.

Don’t let failure faze you. Keep going until you get it right.

To get it right:

  • persevere;

  • reject conventional wisdom;

  • think differently, and commit yourself to achieving your vision.

Your vision should express optimism. In visionary planning, there’s no place for caution.

Replicate and share your vision. There’s nothing more useless than a vision that you keep to yourself. Sell your ideas to the people who matter by every possible method. Remember that the effectiveness of a decision is the quality of that decision multiplied by its acceptance.

  • Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.

  • The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Open yourself to new information ... to the element of surprise. Play with perception and context.

To get ahead and stay ahead, you’ve go to think revolution not evolution. Aim to make things 100% different. Ten or 20% better just isn’t good enough.

If you improve whatever you offer in small, incremental steps, the world won’t race to get to your doorstep. It’ll yawn. To overcome the ho-hum mindset of those around you, jolt them into action by revolutionizing what you do. Make the changes radical.

You’ll know you have successfully replicated and shared your vision when the people who matter know where you want to go, how you plan to get there and when you want to get there.

Action points

  1. List 5 macro trends you predict over the next 5 years that will impact on your business.
  2. How will these trends affect your business?
  3. What will you need to do in order to stay ahead?
  4. My vision for my company/division is to...
  5. In order to achieve this vision, I will...

1.   Where are you going?
2. How are you going to get there?
3. What will you need to do?
4. What are you lacking?
5. Who is in your way?
6. Who are you aiming at?
7. Who do you need to assist you?
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