Developing a Growth Vision

By Tom Bixby, President & CEO, LEVEL Management Partners
Published March 17, 2016

Fearless entrepreneurs can lose sight of their business' potential over time. Reinvigorating your small business begins with a Growth Vision, which we defined in last week's Part 1 of this Growth Vision Series. In Part 2, we guide you through steps in developing your business' Growth Vision, reflecting the fully scaled potential for what your business can achieve.

Where do you start to develop a Growth Vision?

The three steps to consider in developing your Growth Vision are: Create your initial Vision Statement, Rally your management team for other perspectives, and Seek out experts to challenge and extend your Growth Vision.

Start with writing a Vision Statement for your business. Patrick Vaca, Executive and Leadership Consultant with Patrick Vaca Consulting and member of the LEVEL Expert Network™ shared his thoughts about Vision Statements.

“Vision statements must be clear and concise. Draft one, constantly review it, and ask for feedback from your peers. If others can explain what it means, then you may be on the right track. Your vision statement is your true north and, if kept at the forefront of your work, will guide your business growth.”

Once you’ve drafted your Vision Statement, step back and reflect. Vision Statements are aspirational. Does your Vision Statement reflect the true potential of your business? Might there be something you are missing?

David Phillips, Innovation Provocateur with Faster Glass Consulting and a member of the LEVEL Expert Network™ cautions business owners to recognize their own limitations.

“One of my favorite quotes about how 'what we know' can limit us comes from noted historian Daniel Boorstin, who wrote in his classic, The Discoverers, "The great obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the ocean was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." Obviously we need experience and expertise to run our organizations, but how do we also ensure we're not overlooking opportunities or threats because we're blinded by what we know? We're often blind to our own blindness, and the illusion of knowledge is a powerful contributor. The key to overcoming this barrier to innovation lies in adopting practices that allow us to look past our blinders, even if only temporarily.”

Who Needs to Participate in Developing a Growth Vision?

Involve your company’s leadership team in developing and refining your Growth Vision, and the Vision Statement that communicates it. A multi-disciplinary team will better examine growth possibilities from many directions. Be warned, however, that if your leadership team has been with you for many years, they may be highly invested in the status quo and shy away from new approaches and possibilities. If your team includes those without the necessary expertise or diverse experience, the potential for strong new, creative or actionable ideas is limited.

Level Management Partners’ experience suggests that outside experts are best equipped to bring fresh ideas, new perspectives, and out-of-the-box thinking. An executive peer group can frequently offer new ideas and share approaches that have worked in their companies and those which failed. Remain mindful that while your peers may bring a different perspective, their own experiences may not be completely relevant to your company’s circumstances. It may become challenging to evaluate the ideas they contribute and determine those to retain or discard.

When we help our clients develop a Growth Vision, we utilize our highly-structured, time-tested methodology and all-star executive-level talent from the LEVEL Expert Network™. Applying this approach consistently delivers unequaled results in generating innovative ideas and stretching the boundaries for what’s possible for our clients in growing their businesses.

View Part 3 - Planning to Realize Your Growth Vision
How healthy is your business? What changes might drive sustainable growth?
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