The Best Steps for Communicating Vision at Your Organization
How to Communicate the Vision More Effectively
Part of your job as a leader is to motivate others and generate a commitment to your organization’s vision. Leaders must be able to get the word out about the organization’s vision in multiple ways — and keep the message going. It’s part of why communication is so important for leaders.
And communicating the vision is key. What exactly do we mean by vision? Vision describes some achievement or future state that the organization wants to accomplish. A vision has to be shared in order to do what it’s meant to do — which is to inspire, clarify, and focus the work.
If you’re not part of your organization’s senior leadership team, the broad organizational vision probably didn’t come from you. Yet as a manager of other people, part of your job is still to understand and communicate the vision and goals of the business in a way that’s relevant to your group or team members. Be able to answer these key questions to connect the vision of the organization to your own work and that of your team:
- What exactly is the vision?
- How does our work connect to my organization’s vision? What’s our role in achieving it?
As noted in our guidebook Communicating Your Vision, leaders have to communicate the vision in a way that matters to people. You want people in the organization to believe the vision and to pass it on to others. This is particularly essential to increase employee engagement and key for purpose-driven leadership.
8 Tips for Leaders
How do you communicate vision effectively? Try these 8 tips:
1. Tell a story.
When you tell a good story, you give life to a vision. A good storyteller creates trust, captures hearts and minds, and serves as a reminder of the vision. Plus, people find it easier to repeat a story than to talk about a vision statement.
2. Perfect your “elevator speech.”
What compelling vision can you describe in the amount of time you have during a typical elevator ride? Every leader needs to be able to communicate the vision in a clear, brief way. Be prepared to talk about it in line at the cafeteria, when you visit the customer service department, and even walking through a parking lot.
3. Use multiple forms of media.
The more channels of communication you use, the better the chance of your organization understanding the vision. Use the newest communication technologies, and ensuring your virtual communications are as effective as possible, but don’t forget the tangible swag like coffee mugs, T-shirts, luggage tags, or whatever else you can think of that will keep the message in circulation.
4. Have one-on-one conversations.
Engage others. Personal connections give leaders opportunities to transmit information, receive feedback, build support, and create energy around the vision. Be thoughtful about what approaches you use, and try different tactics to influence people based on what they’ll find most persuasive.
5. Draw a crowd internally.
Identify key players, communicators, stakeholders, and supporters within your organization who will motivate others to buy into the vision. Take a network perspective and be strategic in your approach.
6. Share outside the organization too.
Don’t forget to communicate the vision to external parties as well, such as customers, partners, and vendors.
7. Guide the expedition.
Use visual aids and share plenty of updates to keep everyone aware of the progress you’re making toward your vision. Communicating the vision is like setting the GPS, but don’t just give out maps. Travel alongside, stay out in front, offer directions, and point out guideposts and small wins along the way.
8. Back up what you’re talking about.
Bolster what you’re saying with your behavior. If people see one thing and hear another, your credibility is shot and your vision is dead. This builds leadership trust.
A Closing Thought on Communicating Vision
If you’re not sure you’ve done a great job communicating vision at your organization in the past, consider:
- How do I show my passion and enthusiasm for the vision and the organization?
- How best can I enroll others in the vision? What would be most impactful for them?
- Are there any obstacles in my way to prevent me from communicating this vision? If so, how can I overcome those obstacles?
Be excited — and proud — to communicate the vision at your company. By doing so, you’re letting colleagues know what a promising future you and your organization have.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Upskill your team’s abilities at communicating the vision with a customized learning journey for your leaders using our research-backed modules. Available leadership topics include Communication & Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Influence & Selling Your Ideas, Listening to Understand, Psychological Safety, and more.