“Teamwork is the ability to work toward a common vision…It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Unknown
Does your workplace team have a vision? If it does, can you state what it is?
Many teams do have a team ‘vision’ – a sentence that describes where they are headed. Often though, the words are difficult to recall and team members do not always remember what the vision is. They don’t remember because they don’t feel connected to it.
There are many reasons why you may not connect with your team vision – perhaps you weren’t involved in its creation; you find it too wordy; you are unsure what it really means; it seems removed from your daily work. Not relating to the vision does not mean you are not able to do a good job – it may just mean that your team are not focused on a common future goal that stretches capabilities and inspires continuous improvement.
A vision is not essential to team operation, however a good vision can be a powerful tool to create team cohesion and success. A vision can provide a common inspiration that encourages team members to support each other’s efforts; it can give direction and focus during turbulent times; it can stretch achievements as team members strive for a different future state.
Creating a great vision is not easy and does take time. Once it is decided, it will need to be revisited regularly and eventually it will need to be updated. But if done well and if the team are connected to the vision, its ongoing evolution should help motivate and challenge the group.
How to get started?
- If your wider company has a vision become familiar with it and what it means
- Brainstorm how your team contributes to where the company is heading – what do you do that will support achieving the company vision?
- Think about who your stakeholders and customers are – what problems do you solve for them; how do you collaborate with them; how do you want to see this evolve in the future?
- What words or phrases describe your team now; what would you like these to be in one or two years time?
- What are your current focus areas; what should they be for future success?
- What themes are emerging from your discussion – are there consistent aspects related to your future focus?
These are some simple ideas to get started and there are many other ways to explore your desired future state. Chat to colleagues about what they have done to create a team vision, discuss your plans with a mentor or coach, explore options with Human Resources or an experienced facilitator.
Remember, a vision should be future focussed (aspirational) and should be inspiring to the team. There should be genuine connection with where the team is heading and all team members should be able to articulate what they contribute towards the team’s vision.
Once you have your team vision, you will need the team to decide what steps are important to work towards the vision – these will be objectives or critical success factors to focus on to achieve future success.
A common goal is a first step to encouraging teamwork and team success. Creating an inspiring vision can take the team beyond today’s achievements and might just motivate remarkable outcomes.
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