“How do you get buy-in from everyone in the strategic vision for your product?”
I’ve talked a little bit about vision before in this series, but I’ve never really covered the different types of visions that you can create. There are two, at least in my opinion – and one of these, also in my opinion, is much more effective than the other.
This discussion, by the way, is also covered in my book, Creative Strategy Generation. So, now you have officially been plugged.
The first type of vision statement is what I call a “motivated vision.” To my definition, when we are motivated to achieve something, it is about something that we want to do for ourselves. I am motivated to lose weight. I am motivated to make a lot of money. I am motivated to be a better person.
The second type of vision statement is what I call an “inspired vision.” When we are inspired to do something, that inspiration typically comes from outside of our own area of self-interest. I am inspired to help people. I am inspired to create something that someone else will love. I am inspired to change the word. If I was “motivated” to do any of those things, the implication would be that I would be getting something in return. But when I am inspired, I am usually doing something for the benefit of someone else.
Now, before you break out your dictionaries to try to prove me wrong on some technicality, let me disclaim that these definitions are simply my own interpretations based on the way we use and hear these words every day. But looking at vision statements through this lens helps me to keep one thing in mind: Motivated visions are for me, while inspired visions are for you.
When companies create motivated visions (which most of them do), those visions tend to be more difficult to aspire to. I want to grow; I want to be the market leader; I want to be number one. OK – that’s great. But how is that different than what anyone else wants to achieve? And how do you expect to achieve all of that without also considering the people (namely your customers) who are going to help get you there?
But when you create an inspired vision, you are focusing your attention on what you can do for your customers. And that will ultimately and inevitably come back to benefit you.
So, if you are wondering how you can best get buy-in for your strategic vision, try focusing it outside of your own company. Because, even though it may not always seem like it, nothing will get the attention of people within your own company like helping your customers to succeed.
Listen to the podcast episode
Dear Strategy: Episode 037