Transformation challenges: what is clear for one…

“I don’t get it. My managers are telling me that our transformation vision is not clear for employees, but it’s very clear and I’ve presented it a million times!” How often have I heard that?

How can there be clear and… clear

How can it be, this difference of perception of the clarity of this vision? There are many reasons for it; here are the ones I’ve come across in the organizations I’ve worked with:

  • The vision is crystal clear in the minds of the president and CEO and the members of the management committee. And it’s been communicated (official launch, presentation, intranet, email, etc.), so they all assume that it’s clear for the managers and employees, too.
  • The vision has been explained but has run into the following obstacles:
    • Employees don’t remember it (they didn’t listen, didn’t read the message, were absent, etc.).
    • The vision is too long and difficult to remember (and maybe not so clear after all?).
    • Employees did not have the opportunity to discuss the vision with their supervisors to clarify it or deepen their understanding.
    • The vision is clearly expressed but the teams are wondering what impact it will have on their day-to-day lives.

Solutions for a truly clear vision

Here are some ways to make your transformation vision truly clear for everyone in the company:

  1. Formulate one. Many transformations are started without a precise, written, defined vision.
  2. Limit yourself to a few words. The shorter your vision statement, the easier it will be to understand, remember and endorse.
  3. Put some emotion into it. Evoke your teams’ desire to contribute to something larger than themselves.

Connect your vision to reality on the ground

If your vision calls for your teams to pay more attention to your clients, start a conversation in all the relevant departments to identify concrete ways to define and understand just what being “client-focused” really means.

How? Here are two examples:

  • If a client makes an unusual request, what criteria should guide my decision?
  • If I am in the finance department and I never speak to clients, how can I be client-focused?

If one of your colleagues met someone from your organization and asked them to explain your transformation vision, what percentage do you think would be able to come up with a realistic answer?

Marcel Auclair,
Cofounder, Vice President and Strategic Consultant
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