Updated: Feb 8
Something that is in vogue these days is called a “Vivid Vision”. What exactly is a “Vivid Vision” and how can it help shape your business planning and goals today?
A “Vivid Vision” invites you to imagine your company, and yourself, having reached your goals sometime in the future. In some of the “Vivid Visions” we’ve helped companies create, the future tense can be anytime in the future, usually long-term, ten, twenty, or thirty years; it can be at whatever point in time marks the time when you have realized your goals. It includes what your sales look like, what your growth looks like, what partnerships look like, and (overall) how the company has performed in its mission to achieve X, Y and Z. It also invites you to see yourself as your future self, as leader of the company, and what you have achieved and continue to achieve in your imagined and successful future.
A “Vivid Vision” is not aspirational in the "what if" and "we hope" sense; it describes what your aspirations now, in the past, have helped you achieve in the future as concrete things. It imagines you at your most successful, having done what you said you would against clear planning and strategy today. The power of imagining your successful company and your successful self in the future is to visualize that what you set out today as your path ends in realized outcomes. A ‘Vivid Vision” helps you frame your company, objectives, goals and aspirations now in such as way as to help you visualize that what you are doing today will result in achieving your dreams tomorrow. A “Vivid Vision’ is not unrealistic, but, rather, embodies who you become later because of your grounded planning today.
For instance, if your ultimate sales goal is to become a multi-million or billion-dollar company in the future, your “Vivid Vision” will project you into that successful outcome, and all of the ways that your planning now made you achieve that end. Your “Vivid Vision” will go into detail around how your goals now achieved the desired outcomes tomorrow. From a sales standpoint, you might say: “what we did related to partnerships with A, B and C created these outcomes; what we did to improve our customer service model resulted in and X in network effect; what we did to launch products 1, 2 and 3 led to selling our technology for Y dollars and enabled us to set up an overseas network to support new products development." In every case, your “Vivid Vision” should force you to imagine the outcomes of planning today. In this way, as I say, your “Vivid Vision” isn’t aspirational in the way where you might say “We strive to achieve such and such"; it says, rather, “we achieved such and such, and here are the spin-off benefits that achieving our ends have resulted in. There is really no set way to create your “Vivid Vision”; each one will be unique to you and your company and company goals. To start one, simply take the goals you’ve set for yourself this quarter, this year, or beyond, and project yourself having successfully achieved those results. (A "Vivid Vision" can also be used for short-term thinking though it is most often used for long-term planning.) Then imagine how those results you’ve achieved have set you up for other, spin-off effects and benefits. It’s a way for you to enrich your objectives and goals across departments, for the entire company, and even for yourself since it will show how reaching those goals had primary, secondary and tertiary benefits, benefits that you might not think about as you do your planning today without projecting those successes into the future. It should open to you what is most important now in your planning since you will want to plan for what has the largest and most benefit to you as your future tense.
In addition, sharing your “Vivid Vision” with your internal teams and the public will align everyone to today’s objectives and goals as they will be able to see what tomorrow looks like when these objectives and goals are achieved in ways that go beyond the ordinary business or departmental planning. It creates group understanding, engagement, ownership, and what the best world for us looks like in the future, if we all just walk the path of achievement together now.