My friend Marilyn Moats Kennedy says “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” To paraphrase, if you don’t have a vision, you don’t have a direction that both directs you and inspires. Whether a company or organization big or small or an individual, a vision for where you want to go is the first step in getting there.
I recently attended the kickoff of Northwestern University’s new strategic plan, We Will. It is both inspirational and aspirational, everything you’d want a leading university to be moving towards. And even with that, they limited what it wasn’t, because with so many stakeholders it would have been easy to create a multi-pronged plan that pleases everyone but doesn’t lead anywhere.
This plan has four main themes: Discover Creative Solutions, Integrate Learning and Experience, Connect Our Community, and Engage with the World. Provost Dan Linzer states “Achieving the goals this strategic plan lays out will challenge us all. It should. Because we have the strength to achieve them, we will.”
What is your individual and your organizational stategic plan? Is it engaging, thought provoking, inspiring? Is it something you would be proud to achieve? If so, be sure to share it and keep it in front of you. If not, go back to the drawing board to get something that does inspire, excite, and drive you. And don’t keep it a secret. The more you share it, the greater the likelihood that you will achieve it.