Leading a team to success is a journey, not a destination, and creating a shared vision with your team is an important step in the right direction. The multi-step shared visioning process takes time to complete, but in the end your team will have a vision of the future worth striving for that will promote teamwork, pride, and purpose. Together Everyone Achieves More, so collaborate with your team and create the best shared vision possible by following the steps outlined below.
Working Session #1 (90 minutes)
Introductions – Who are we and why are we here?
Pull your team together in a conference room and explain to them why you have called everyone together – to work together towards defining a shared vision of the future that everyone can work together towards achieving.
Define Visioning – What is visioning and what is its’ purpose?
Explain to your team the importance of defining a current and future state, and that the purpose of having a team shared vision, which is in alignment with the organization’s mission, is that it will help everyone “Aim for Success … Achieve Excellence”.
Identify External/Internal Customers (High-Level) – Who depends on us and who do we depend on?
Brainstorm external and internal customers and create a “Team Dependencies” Microsoft Visio diagram that visually depicts the importance of your team by showing who depends on your team and who they depend on to be successful.
Working Session #2 (90 minutes)
Identify Responsibilities (High-Level) – What do we do and what are our customer’s expectations?
Brainstorm team responsibilities/customer expectations and create a “Team Responsibilities/Expectations” Microsoft Vision diagram that visually depicts the broad range of work that your team is responsible for completing on a daily basis along with service level expectations.
NOTE: Merging the “Team Dependencies” and “Team Responsibilities/Expectations” diagrams can also create a powerful image of how important a team is to an organization.
Acknowledge and brand the team – We are a team. What should be our name?
Brainstorm team names, acronyms, monikers, … and choose an appropriate team name if possible. Team identity, pride, and purpose starts with a name that insiders and outsiders can recognize and relate to.
Brainstorm possible shared vision statements – Where are we now and where do we want to be in the future?
Take all of the information gathered to date – internal/external customers, responsibilities, expectations, team name, etcetera, and blend together into a current state and multiple possible future states (high-level), and communicate that the next working session will be used to refine and choose a shared vision.
Working Session #3 (90 minutes)
Draft multiple shared vision statements – Combine keywords from brainstorming sessions.
Brainstorm multiple shared vision statements (future states) using all of the information from the previous working sessions and pull your team together to focus on indentifying an achievable future state that can be captured and communicated in a memorable, multi-sentence shared vision statement.
Example Shared Vision Statement -
“High-Quality Database, Application, Reporting, and Technology Services that our business partners can rely on to grow their business and achieve success … through consistent adoption of industry standard best practices, a commitment to excellence, and collaborative development of innovative solutions.”
Choose a shared vision – Narrow down selection, reach consensus, and agree upon shared vision.
Choose a shared vision statement through team consensus, congratulate the team on working together to craft a shared vision of the future, and explain to the team that the next steps will be to work together to determine how to communicate and work towards achieving your team’s shared vision.
Identify shared vision communication vehicles – Cubicle banner, key chains, pens, mouse pads, …
Identify and choose a method for communicating your team’s shared vision across the organization, to your internal/external customers, and amongst your team. Pens with your team’s shared vision emblazoned on the side, email signatures with a shared vision statement included, and a framed shared vision statement (8.5” x 11” picture frame) are generally good communication vehicles.
Working Session #4 (90 minutes)
Brainstorm steps to work towards achieving shared vision – Tie personal/departmental development plan objectives to shared vision to promote fulfillment.
Remember, leading a team to success is a journey, not a destination, and creating a shared vision is one step in the right direction. Now is the time to pull the team together to identify some individual and team initiatives that can be undertaken to lead the team towards success (future state).
Draft and adopt team strategy and initiatives aligned with shared vision – promote pride and purpose.
Combine all of the information obtained from all of the working sessions into a definitive team strategy and list of initiatives which are in alignment with the team’s shared vision and organization’s mission. Let your team know that you will be there to help them achieve their shared vision and follow through on your commitment to success.
Reinforce, communicate, and market shared vision regularly – Together Everyone Achieves More.
Be the leader. Constantly remind your team, internal/external customers, and organization about your team’s shared vision of the future and align all team efforts towards “Aiming for Success … Achieving Excellence”.
Join the conversation.