Although I am a fan of the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid), it takes more than simplicity to set an excellent business vision. This is where HUGS comes in.
When a client asks us to consult on a vision or major strategic initiative, I make sure that it always passes the HUGS test. If you can check off the following four boxes, you can be sure that your organizational vision is on the right track.
Successful organizational visions should be:
Here is how I break it down.
Huge: A vision is not much of a vision if it does not require those in the organization to use their binoculars. This is not simply another annual plan that represents year-over-year incremental growth. It is an ambitious goal with a compressed timeline that serves as a call to action! After all, mobilizing an organization can best be accomplished when everyone is required to perform at his or her very best, on an ongoing basis, toward an objective that benefits everyone.
Ubiquitous: Ambitious goals must permeate your entire organization. These are not simply aimed at elevating one function or business unit. Such goals have the potential of lifting the entire organization to a new and higher level. Every team must be activated and, more importantly, incentivized toward the common goal.
Groundbreaking: The more disruptive the HUGS goal, the greater the potential it has to impact the marketplace. The best way to upend a competitor is to do the unexpected. This does not require a company to be the first to market. It does require the given product, service, or process to solve a customer problem in a manner that represents a marked improvement over the status quo.
Strategic: Perhaps most importantly, the HUGS goal must be in the best future interest of the company. If a quick rise in revenue comes at the expense of future revenue or if a major disruption to competition is also self-sabotaging, it is ill-advised. Careful planning and research must be the foundation for the launch of a HUGS goal.
If your organization is in need of a revamp or new direction, it might be time to think about a HUGS-level vision.
THE TAKEAWAY: Setting an ambitious vision takes courage. To make sure that yours is big and bold enough, run it past the HUGS checklist.
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