The power of vision in business is perhaps the most important strategic advantage available to businesses today. If businesses don't have a vision of where they want to be in 5 or 10 years then they are treading water in the present. Every business decision made in the present affects positively or negatively where the company will be in the future. If they don't know where that future is then decisions made today are like shooting in the dark.
Noted futurist, Joel Barker, says "Neglect the Future and no one will thank you for the present". Nothing could be truer in the business world. Most businesses spend all of their time in the present putting out fires. Every day is spent trying to catch up with work that should have been yesterday or handling emergencies as they arrive today. Almost no time is spent on strategy and goal setting.
Leaders in the business world are responsible first and foremost for leading people into the future. As such, more time should be spent on the direction of the company than on the everyday fireman duties that every leader gets caught up in. In Barker's work he talks about three keys that all leaders should be focusing on - excellence, innovation and anticipation.
Every year the marketplace becomes more competitive and every company should be constantly focused on excellence. Ask the following questions - how can we be an industry leader in extraordinary service, how can we have excellence in every level of our organization and lastly how can we be an industry leader in quality.
Innovation is the next key. Every available resource should be spent on innovation. Most organizations have a large staff of diverse employees. Use all of your human resources and make a consistent, focused effort to find ways to innovation.
The last key is anticipation. Companies need to utilize every resource in anticipating the future. Without these efforts, businesses are just blindly hiking through the wilderness. Make every effort to study the landscape, so that the future doesn't come as a complete surprise and your efforts today anticipate correctly.
Make sure that your decisions today are working towards a future goal and vision of the future. As Joel Barker astutely points out - the present means very little if you have no direction. Find the power of vision and give your company a clear and bright future.