Creating your before and after vision for change

I was in my local hairdressers the other day when I noticed an exchange between the salon owner and a customer who came in to book an appointment.  I noticed the customer was clutching a photo of a celebrity whose hair style she obviously admired.  I also noticed that the celebrity had a totally different type, length and texture of hair to the customer.  As the salon owner took the customer aside for a consultation I thought 'oh dear unrealistic aspirations!'.  When the salon owner returned to me I commented that this must have been a difficult conversation and she surprised me with her answer.  'Not at all' she said enthusiastically, I love customers who come to me with a very clear idea of what they want, no matter how unrealistic it is, this gives us a great starting point for their vision.  We may not be able to achieve an exact replica, but I will have a very clear idea of where they want to be, and then we can then look at what is achievable.  It's the customers who come to me with no clue what they want that are a problem.  This gives me nothing to work on, and without any other vision they will most likely end up with a slightly updated version of what they have today, and that's probably not what they really want.

I laughed as I realised this is exactly what is necessary at the beginning of any significant change - we have to have a clear Vision.  As an executive or management team you really have to have a strong, articulated and detailed enough view of where you want to be, as this forms the blueprint for the future. Only once you have this vision in place can you then compare where you are today and measure the gap which the change programme must address.

A few years ago, I led a team with the remit of completely transforming an outdated marketing environment into a modern, digital marketing machine.  We had plenty of bumps along the road but our clear vision and change programme helped keep us on track even when the going got very tough.  Our future vision informed the change workstreams we needed to move from where we were at the beginning to where we needed to be and we had measures of success along the way. 

 We were able to articulate this change in a single slide as it captured the essence of our aspirations and became part of our common language as a team, binding us together and providing an ongoing narrative for our change programme.

Are you struggling to articulate your future vision or build a plan for creating significant change?  Drop me a note to see if we can work together to kick start your change programme.


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