Marketing Strategies: Creating Clear Organizational Vision
Posted by Ryan Nokes 7/6/09
The importance of getting your business on the same page is paramount: from top management to business divisions to internal office processes to individual employees. Lack of a unifying direction can lead to unexpected consequences. Stephen Covey, in his book The 8th Habit, performed a survey of companies and employee engagement. He then compared the results to a soccer team. The results are chilling.
In a poll of 23,000 employees:
|Corporate Understanding of Vision & Objectives||If a Soccer Team Had The Same Understanding|
|Only 37% said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why||Only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs|
|Only 20% were enthusiastic about their team’s and their organization’s goals||Only 2 of the 11 players would care|
|Only 20% said they have a clear link between their tasks and their organization’s goals and fully trusted the organization they worked for||Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to work for|
|Only 15% felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals||All but 2 of the players would, in some way, be competing against their own team instead of the opponent|
This then is what most organizations look like: One is focused, one is upset, most are confused; and while a few are excited to be there, they have no idea what’s going on. Scary.
Setting the Vision
A vision is an achievable ideal that both motivates as well as provides direction. It pulls the whole team together and gives them a common goal to strive toward. A shared vision rallies the organization together around a shared passion, which is a hallmark of truly innovative companies. When enough people understand where the organization is trying to get and are empowered enough to create and implement ideas, innovation happens.
Google is a great example. Their vision is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.” 20% of Google employee time goes to whatever project an employee thinks will help achieve that vision. As a result, Google manages to innovate in their field at a ridiculous rate.
Some other examples include:
• American Express – “To be the world’s most respected service brand”
• Avis Rent-a-Car – “To become the world’s preeminent rent-a-car brand”
• IBM has 2: “To lead in the creation, development, and manufacture of the most advanced information technology” & “To translate advanced technologies into value for our customers as the world’s largest information services company”
For 300 more, you can check out this book.
Vision or Hallucination?
Most organizations create a vision that gets slapped on marketing materials or on the front desk or even on their websites, yet nothing is actually done. The employees are aware of it, but do not understand how their jobs relate to it. Covey’s survey proved this.
So how do you move from corporate hallucination to corporate vision? You link the vision all the way to the bottom-line, showing each person in your organization how their efforts contribute. This turns everyone into your organization into marketers, because each one is now more empowered to help promote the business.
In our next blog post in this series on utilizing marketing analytics to generate business leads and build brand loyalty, we’ll discuss how you can create this link to empower your organization and improve your marketing ROI. Thanks for reading.