“Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.” Japanese Proverb
Without a clear vision, coupled with a strategy to deliver it, firms leave their future success to chance.
But the vision must be more than clear, it must be achievable. And the strategy to achieve it must be founded in the firm’s resources, capabilities and client opportunities. Most importantly, and self-evidently, any vision will only become reality through changes to the behaviours and activities of people across the firm.
The leadership team’s ability to translate high-level strategy into a series of actionable steps that can be clearly communicated is the key to success. It is through the day-to-day actions of those on the ground that real change and progress is delivered rather than the over-intellectualisation of the strategy process. An unobstructed line of sight from vision, through strategy, to an implementation approach which encourages the right sorts of personal behaviours and activities is required.
Less is more and simplicity is good. Real progress is forged by a shared, unambiguous understanding about where the business is headed and the important role that each person plays, through their daily actions, in achieving this goal. Overwhelming momentum can be built by individuals taking responsibility for the two or three things within their control which “make a difference”. The alignment of this granular activity across the firm is what drives sustainable success.