A vision must inspire you to aspire to.
The term visualize conjures up different ides, thoughts and emotions for different people. To some it is a fluffy pie in the sky executive pastime that has no value to the daily work they do to keep the real wheels of the business from coming off. To some it is a process of meditation, they visualize world peace (whirled peas?), or they visualize a peaceful setting to lower their blood pressure. Still others, like Olympic athletes, use visualization to prepare for success, visualizing winning a gold medal is a powerful tool used by most successful athletes these days.
We are talking about visualizing in a business sense. When I talk about visualizing I am talking about a visual description of the successful outcome of our project, business or mission. Very similar to the Olympic Athlete mentioned earlier. A vision helps you clearly communicate to others and keep your own mind what you are shooting for with this business venture.
The mind is a visual machine. It thinks in pictures. Words are merely a construction we have come up with as a society to communicate when we can't show something. We have a whole language about this. "A picture is worth a thousand words", children have "Show and Tell" in school, Michigan is the "Show me" state, Jerry Maguire gave us the phrase, Say it with me...."Show me the money!" Originally language was pictorial, think Egyptian Hieroglyphics, the Chinese written language is still pictorial.
Fundamentally the mind thinks in pictures. For example, when I mentioned Olympic Athletes, didn't you get a picture of the Olympic games? Probably your favorite event, or a memorable event a the most recent games. Maybe just a mental picture of the podium and the Olympians standing there victorious. You probably felt inspired in some way by this image. This is the power of understanding that we think in images.
Too often company visions are wordsmithed to the point where they are just executive mumbo jumbo about "increasing shareholder value," These kinds of visions are not what we are talking about. Your business vision statement will be as powerful as the image of the Olympic Athletes, inspiring you , your team and even your customers to reach for your goal, to push, when you are tired, you will be Making-A-DREAM.
How do you do it? By making your vision...visual. "Increasing shareholder value," what is visual about that? How can you crate it? Your vision will be visual. Close your eyes and imagine what the world will look like when you successfully complete this project, start this business, or finish this mission. Imagine every detail. Picture t in your mind, how will it look, what will you customers do, physically. How will you look and feel? Now open your eyes and write the phrase, "I envision a world where..." then write down what you saw. Or better yet, if you are so inclined, draw or paint a picture of your vision. A vision doesn't need to be words, remember words just represent things. Many people find it easier to write than artistically create their vision, but if you are so moved, then do it. However you choose to do it, you've gotta do it. Create a vision. This is one exercise in the process of creating a Vision. Do more than one, live with your vision for a while and then come back and updagte it. It isn't the 10 Commandments.