Your organization might have a good grasp on its vision: you know where you want to go. Most business or ministries I have worked closely with have a very well-defined vision statement. Some talk about their calling, and some still have what I have heard described as a “sense of destiny.” But in my experience an organization falters or fail to reach its vision not for the lack of direction, but by not having a clear understanding of the “how.”
Vision, by its own nature, is the “what” question every organization must answer.
What are we all about?
What are we accomplishing?
What defines success for us?
All these are important and even primarily important, meaning, without clearly answering them, the following questions do not matter. But once that’s done, every organization must answer the next and critically important question, “how are we going to do that.”
In my experience as a consultant, organizations that are stuck often understand their “what” but have been stopped on their tracks by not answering clearly the “how.” These leaders can see where they want to be and can imagine what that preferred future looks like, but they cannot figure out the proper steps that will get them there. It feels like the times you found yourself on a busy highway where you can see your destination from your car, but you cannot figure out the right path to get there. After all there are too many options, too many ramps, access roads, and exits and a clear path to your destination is nowhere to be found.
Take a look around your organization. It might be a ministry, a business, a church even a legacy not for profit. Your vision statement might be framed on the wall for all to see, but if your strategy to get there is not clear, then chances are you are not going to make it. Being busy and being effective are not synonymous. Your organization might be trying a lot of “new stuff,” throwing things up on the proverbial wall and hoping they stick. While that will keep everyone busy, you will not move you forward. Without a clear “how”
How well has your organization defined its “how”?