My friend and colleague, Marty Baum of Edgewood Consulting Group (www.edgewoodcg.com), a firm that specializes in working with major consumer packaged goods manufacturers and their retail customers, wrote to agree with me about the importance of knowing your call to action before you start speaking. He said that, as a sales consultant, in both his industry and in society, while everyone is so inundated with data and “information,” being able to communicate in a compelling way is even more important than ever. People’s attention spans are shorter, not only the younger generations but older ones as well, so nailing that call to action is more and more critical.
At Edgewood Consulting they are increasingly focused on developing the STORY as well. The focus is on creating a powerful narrative with great flow, a compelling open and strong close. Marty told me that they chide one another about how the story, or message itself is becoming more important than strong data, which goes somewhat against their training as MBAs. My colleagues would agree! Finding good data is relatively easy with the Internet but developing a powerful and “sticky” story is tricky. It takes time and expertise.
What story does your company tell?
If we know culture is the most important part of any successful business, what is your organization doing to create a positive and healthy culture?
How much is your company spending on creating the culture they want? What are they spending in time? In money? In thought? In discussion?
Saying that culture is important without purposefully investing in it is like saying exercise/meditation/food is important without having an exercise plan, a meditation practice, or a sensible diet in place.
“’Culture eats strategy for breakfast’, a phrase originated by Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields, President at Ford, is an absolute reality! Any company disconnecting the two are putting their success at risk. . . . Organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so don’t leave it unattended.”(source: https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/culture/organisational-culture-eats-strategy-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner/)
If your company isn’t creating the culture it aspires to, the culture will create itself, and it’s likely not to be too healthy.
What is your organization doing to improve its culture?
I was intrigued by this Instagram post a couple of months back from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “Every crazy movie idea/goal/ambition/dirty joke goes up on my vision board…”
Whether or not you are a fan of The Rock, you can’t argue with his success. Whatever he has set his mind to — wrestling, acting, producing — he has been successful.
But I don’t have to look to The Rock for proof of the power of vision boards. I’ve been using them personally since I was twenty, as well as finding them to be an invaluable tool in my career as a professional coach and business consultant.
Simply put, vision boards put your goals into pictures, thereby creating a material and visually stimulating reference to keep you focused on your aspirations and what you need to do to get there. When you can clarify your goals, you can reach your goals.
Ten years ago, I had a client who had left her career to stay home with her kids, and she was now ready to re-enter the workforce. She was concerned about work-life balance, so her vision board took a whole-life approach. There was an image of a mother at her desk; pictures of home renovations she wanted to make; and exercise photos, because she knew activity would help her manage both her stress and her weight.
It was a very busy vision board because she’s a very, very busy person. The richness that she put into the vision board has come to fruition. She got her master’s degree, landed a great job, and exercises daily. And she swears that the board helped keep her on track and focused.
The beauty of vision boards is that they are flexible. Your vision board can encapsulate what you would like your whole life to look like, or it can focus on a single aspect, such as organization or nutrition or finances. It’s your board, so there are no hard and fast rules. And you might have multiple boards — maybe one for your personal running program and another for the new product you want to launch at work.
Vision boards can be useful for teams as well since they articulate goals in visual form and can be posted in a common area as a reminder of your team’s aspirations.
So make like The Rock and make your board awesome! And let me know how you’ve used vision boards to reach your goals.