Monday, November 12, 2007

Entrepreneurial Vision - What's Yours?

I attended the 2nd Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference in Phoenix Thursday November 8th, 2007. I LOVE being in the company of business owners with entrepreneurial minds!! Conferences like this are very motivating and can reignite the passion for why we started our business in the first place.

Pat Sullivan, former ACT CEO, opened the conference with a fantastic talk about how to raise money for a start up venture. He also spoke about having great entrepreneurial vision. In fact, it seemed that many of the break out session panelists spoke about vision.

I loved the lunch keynote speaker Dan Morrison's talk about Lessons Learned and how there's no set path or set of rules on how to be successful with your business. He also talked about the difference between an Entrepreneurial CEO and an Outside CEO. No one but the Entrepreneurial CEO truly understands the Company Vision.

It's surprising to me that while most of the conference speakers included something about the importance of Entrepreneurial Vison in their talks, 90% of my clients don't have a vision when they start working with me.

Here are 3 Easy Steps to Creating a Vision:

1. Craft your Company Values Statement. What is important to the organization? Have everyone in your company list values. Examples: Integrity, safety, beneficial client relationships, quality work, consistent follow-up, open lines of communication, cutting edge technology, work-life balance, and personal excellence. Your Values Statement should start out something like: As a company and as individuals we value:

2. Ask three to four people in your organization to come up with a Vision Statement based on your values. Get them to complete the following sentence: It is five years from today, where are we? What are we doing? Who are we serving? What’s different about the company?

3. Take the Vision Statement, break into small groups of three to five and brainstorm to perfect the ideas it contains. Use the questions above to guide you. All groups should share their ideas to finalize the Vision.

Staying Power
Once you’ve come up with a Vision Statement, don’t put it away in a drawer to be forgotten. Use your Vision in your company marketing materials, your website, and in your Human Resources office so that it is always present in the company culture.

Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors

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