“You have to start with a vision, blah, blah, blah…”

No kidding. And how often have we heard that?

As you’ll likely agree, it’s not having a vision, but it’s being able to articulate the vision, that makes a difference. Furthermore, being able to articulate it in a way so that people can see it in their mind’s eye that’s important.

When defining the success of a strategy it’s critical to define that success in the form of a very tangible vision so leaders can articulate it vividly. Ultimately, good leaders convey feelings through their vision.

Here is how you can you tell if your success vision is concrete enough:

1. Give people your vision statement, and ask them to describe it back to you

Here are two examples of a success objectives envisioned for an actual project I lead:

  1. There is no reduction of quality
  2. Actual and perceived accuracy of invoices and data remains the same or improves

If I asked you to describe these back to me, which one would you struggle with more? The first one, right? Even though you have no idea what type of strategic project this was for, you could probably say something reasonable based on the second one.

By the way, they are both statements for the same objective. The first is the original idea, and the second is the refined version adopted by the leaders.

2. You can measure it

So, how would you measure that second success objective above? And how did we? Here are the three metrics we used (and how we measured them):

  • Percentage of invoices with repeat errors (system tracking)
  • Percent of errors in data entry, and percent of documents missing (manual tabulation)
  • Percent of people who perceive that invoice and data quality is good (survey)

As you are getting out of this pandemic and setting goals and targets for your next few months or a year, see if you can use this test.

  1. Ask people to describe your vision. or objective, back to you. If they struggle, you have more work to do.
  2. Try to measure it. If you can’t, it’s not concrete enough.

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Photo by Laura Cleffmann on Unsplash

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