A good leader creates a vision, articulates it, owns it and drives it to completion. In an organization, the employees follow the leader in pursuing goals. A vision or mission or core purpose of an organization sets the bearing for the future and sets a course for it.
The three are different, but they give direction to the organization. Employees cannot be innovative if there is no purpose for it. When the vision is set, then the employees are passionate, energetic, and they are ready for any challenge.
It is the responsibility of leaders to communicate to and lead employees to a desired destination. The vision sets the way for innovative ideas on how to achieve it. It is the starting point for objectives, metrics, and strategic plans. An innovation vision takes your organization from its present state to a better future. Companies who do not have an innovation vision statement end up being obsolete and obscure.
There are some risks that the company has to overcome to fully establish the vision. Despite the challenges, it is possible to have a positive outcome if the vision is challenging, believable and desirable. An organization gains by having such a vision in three ways;
- The employees own the vision. Once they are aware of the unsolved challenges and the destination, then they look for solutions to the challenges.
- Employees share a common goal. This makes them more receptive to challenges, difficulties, and changes.
- More control over employees’ work. The employees become more responsible for their work since they know the direction and goal of their work. The management can therefore trust the employees to work under minimum supervision.
It is pointless for an organization to carry out an innovation program without a vision. Such programs lead to wastage in money and time.
How to Create an Innovation Vision
- Identify the challenges: Involve the management staff with a holistic perspective of the organization. The managers will be able to give an honest assessment of the issues hindering the company from leading innovations. Consider the company that the participants admire most and the reasons for admiring it. Look at the staff and how they can be useful in implementing the vision. Consider all the aspects of the organization and how each is a hindrance to achieving the innovation vision.
- Define your opportunities: After you identify the issues facing your organization, allow the participants an opportunity to suggest solutions to the challenges. As they suggest the solutions, write them down. All solutions should provide a complete change of the situation to make the challenges non-issues.
- Define your direction: The direction you take is determined by the solutions you choose to actualize. Choose the best three or four solutions from the list given. The best way to arrive at the best solutions is to have a debate with the participants about the best solution. The solutions chosen represent the company’s innovation goals and a way out on how the goals will be achieved.
- Creating your Innovation Vision: The innovation vision should be a simple statement which defines what the innovation will achieve for your company. It should be realistic and easy to understand and remember.