By Dr. Oleg Konovalov, thought leader, educator, coach, and author of THE VISION CODE
What if all my investments will be successful, or 80% of them, at least? In what I should invest or provide credits to secure the highest return on investments?
Investing in a product is a blind bet without a strong and compelling vision in which this product resides. Vision is a space in the future that creates new markets and has massive potential for expansion. A product is only a fraction of that market with a bounded life span.
Vision Viability Test
Vision is strong as long it is functional or viable. Here we talk about the viability of vision.
What elements or criteria define the greatness of a vision? Every strong vision has six firm criteria – stimulus, scale, spotlight, scanning, simplicity, and excitement and passion. Vision must address people’s needs, be easy to understand, scalable and growing, lead to success, and stir emotions.
Stimulus – Vision reflects the highest purpose of serving people – purposeful acting for and with people. A value people will gain for themselves is key.
- Who would benefit from your vision? A value people will gain for themselves is key. A strong vision should cause an immediate or almost immediate response from people to be involved and not to flee.
- Why should people respond to your vision? Stimulus should be accompanied by a quick response to it as people see a value for themselves or actual benefit. People wouldn’t respond to something if they don’t have it or it is not good for them. Initially, a vision is created as a response to people’s needs or desires.
Engaged beneficiaries of the vision pay real money, not a ‘like’ on social media.
Scale – Vision should be of great breadth and depth with potential for an extension at later stages. Vision never leads to or accepts a dead end. It shows multiple potentials for expansion.
- How much can you expand your vision? Scale is not only about breadth but also about depth. This is simply about adding value and exploiting opportunities that come as vision grows. This is about in-depth relationships with customers, in-depth market penetration, in-depth utilization of potential, and offering new products and services.
- What will the status of your vision be in five years? Scaling is about adding value at every stage of development that would secure organic growth and geographical expansion.
No one wants to invest in something that will die tomorrow.
Spotlight – Vision assumes responsibility, immediate and extended. Many wish to do something great and incredible and very enthusiastic until it comes to responsibility.
- Whose skin is in the game, yours or others’? The greater the vision, the greater the responsibility for its impact on people’s lives, and the legacy that will be left afterward. Not putting his own skin into the game is a clear sign of someone who wouldn’t deliver his promise.
- Who shares responsibility for the consequences of a vision? Control is an illusion unless a whole team is accountable, and everyone feels responsible for achieving a vision.
The degree of responsibility depends on the magnitude of the vision.
Scanning – A visionary sees the signs on his way to success. If one keeps his mind and eyes open, then those signs are always around in different forms – expressions of a real need, signals of potential risk, and answers to critical questions coming from unexpected perspectives.
- How is your vision relevant to the present? Visionaries are excellent at spotting tiny signs of unusual opportunities. Attention to these signs and clues helps them to craft the most effective path to success.
- What’s happened in the world over the course of the last month that could affect or enhance your vision? Scanning is vital for listening to pain points, spotting trends, and seeing where and how value can be added. Visionaries see what other people don’t see.
Most businesses were wiped out because they didn’t pay attention to new market trends. They denied what was going on around them.
Simplicity – Vision is elegant thinking about complicated things. Vision operates and makes execution possible from its simplicity.
- Can you present your vision to professionals in two minutes or less? Professionals tend to present complex ideas in simple words. Pretenders tend to use technical language to justify themselves, not ideas.
If things are too complicated and too difficult to grasp, then most likely this is not a real vision but an overcomplicated puzzle. Too much complexity simply turns people off.
- Can you explain your vision to a ten-year-old in two minutes? When communicated, a vision must be understood by any ordinary person. If you can explain it to a ten-year-old with a handful of words and they understand, then your vision is simple enough.
Simplicity connects vision with people.
Excitement and passion – Vision is a strong emotion itself and provokes strong emotions in others. Actually, passion is serious business itself. You should create passion multipliers around you.
- Does your vision make people excited? There is no engagement without passion and vision is not an exception. Vision should create positive emotions in others who in turn add value to the vision. A compelling vision can’t be realized without being emotionally supported.
- Do you spread excitement and passion around you? Excitement equals passion which gives emotional power to a vision. A strong vision brings strong excitement which is difficult to contain and causes passion in others.
A vision that doesn’t address passion is not scalable.
The greatness of a vision matters more than the size of the organization or any promises made on dreams. Great vision allows organizations to grow and remain valuable for many years ahead.
Many will fail this test and those who pass it are the most credible or investable with a very promising long-term return.
At the same time, think of your own financial institution from the viewpoint of such a viability test. This test is relevant to all who think beyond today.
Dr. Oleg Konovalov is a thought leader, educator, coach, and author of THE VISION CODE: How To Create And Execute A Compelling Vision For Your Business. For more information please visit: www.OlegKonovalov.com
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