Company vision is critical to long term success. Defining a unified vision and building a culture around that vision is a difficult task for any executive. In the Value Factor, Mark Hurd and Lars Nyberg discuss why vision is so important and how to foster a culture of empowered employees.
“Centralize goals, democratize decisions”
For global companies, a defined vision is essential in creating a unified understanding across the company of goals and processes, founded on a “single version of the truth.” It is important to note that company vision is not carried out solely through the executive team. While leadership crafts the overarching vision for the business, successful leaders ensure that the power to execute on that vision is spread throughout the organization. In modern business, there are too many changes occurring too quickly for power to be completely centralized. Dispersing power throughout the business empowers employees with unique perspectives and deep knowledge of their segments to make decisions, provided the company vision is consistent. The next step is fueling informed decisions through data.
“A global culture of empowerment and knowledge sharing.”
Information access is the key to making educated decisions, but for global businesses, consolidating information for efficient access and application can be challenging. Nevertheless, to create a single version of truth, data silos must be avoided. Joining fields like e-commerce, supply chain, and finance creates a shared understanding and allows for creative problem-solving. In addition to delivering a better understanding of events at a company-wide level for individuals, increased access and data volume instills a trust in the systems. This trust empowers employees to not just make educated decisions, but ask educated questions.
“Organizations need to be proactive, not reactive”
Asking intelligent questions keeps companies thinking ahead. Taking a proactive approach to new problems and driving fresh creativity requires transparency to allow investigation and questioning of practices to take place. Detailed data from company segments drives top line strategy and bottom line value. The Value Factor calls for executives to create a culture of “profitable questions,” but notes that these questions require actionable business intelligence. In this case, simply providing more information drives value.
Vision is just one component of how companies drive growth and build competitive advantages. Having the right people in the right places with the right information; delivering holistic actionable data to empowered employees with an understanding of the company vision; creating a culture of profitable questions and providing opportunities for employees to voice their opinions; these are all key components of driving leadership’s vision from the bottom up.