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Have a clear vision for the team

With no North Star, employees sail into the rocks. Enroll employees in building that vision/strategy, don't just foist it on them. The former nets commitment, the latter compliance. And be prepared to communicate it more often than you ever thought you could.


Best Practices include :

1) Decide who should be involved. In many cases, this may just be your own employees. In other cases, project team members and other key stakeholders might add valuable ideas and contribute in implementation of the vision.

2) Schedule collaborative working time. Schedule at least a half-day, or a full-day for larger, more complex projects. Off-site locations are often the best choice as you want to minimize interruptions and get people away from their day-to-day environment in order to stimulate creativity.

3) Assign a neutral facilitator for the meeting. This will take the focus off of you and also allow you to be a participant.

4) Get prepared in advance. Schedule the meeting far enough ahead of time to prepare properly. Send out documents to review ahead of time (market research, competitor analysis, survey results, etc.). Establish the expectation that preparation is a must in order to participate and follow-up to make sure people have done their pre-work.

5) Set the stage. At the start of the meeting, review the desired outcomes, agenda, process, and ground rules. This sets the stage for how the rest of the day will flow.

6) Create a plan and use a process. You want to ensure full participation, openness, creativity, and efficiency. A trained facilitator can help you with this, or you can design it yourself.

7) Write the vision statement later. Group time should not be wasted creating the vision statement and word-smithing it to death. The leader can do this offline, or ask for a couple of volunteers to do it.
Talk privately to those who disagree. If there is anyone who disagreed with the output, or anyone who is upset because his or her favorite idea was not incorporated, talk privately to see if they are committed to the vision. Explore ways to connect the vision to their interests and needs.

8) Reconvene the group. Hold a shorter meeting once the vision statement has been drafted. Solicit input and make changes.

9) Review the draft with key colleagues who were not at the meeting. This is the time to review the vision with your manager, peers, customers, suppliers, and anyone who has a stake in your team's work. Use this time to get input, make it better, and begin to build a broader coalition of support.

10) Start communicating the vision. Begin making your vision a reality. This is the next step and most likely requires another meeting. Partner with some of your most creative employees to bring the vision to life in a way that inspires--perhaps using images, metaphors, and stories.

All Hands In
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