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STRATEGY

Bring Your Vision into Focus

Vision will push you to reach higher, has to come before anything else, and must be the center of all decisions.
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In order to bring about change that is good for your business, you must first have a concrete vision. It’s the building block for everything else–for every decision made.

The smartphone industry is one of the most dynamic in the technology world. Advancements are fast and furious. By default, that means companies working in and around this area must be ready to react at the drop of a hat. At OtterBox, that means change is part of our business. Even businesses in more stable industries should have systems in place to ensure they do not deviate from what is core–the vision.

Everything must align with the vision–from it springs a company’s core values and culture. The vision doesn’t actually change much. There are no 180-degree turns, just progressive revelation. The vision for OtterBox today is not far off from what is was back in the late 1990’s, but I won’t try to pretend it has been static. All the tweaks enhance clarity, not change direction.

The vision at OtterBox has helped us create a robust set of values as well as a solid system for every piece of the business. I didn’t invent it though. There are many great minds in business and through an insatiable thirst for reading and learning I’ve picked up a few tricks.

When it comes to vision, Dennis Deaton is the expert. His take on achieving success focuses on having the right state of mind. By truly believing that a goal is possible, that goal becomes achievable. By creating and trusting in a vision, anything becomes possible. Deaton’s process to arriving at and developing a farsighted future state is called visoneering.

It’s worked at OtterBox. The company has grown to more than 450 employees from under 100 a few short years ago. We went from a single office suite in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado, to a campus of buildings and international offices in Cork, Ireland and Hong Kong.

People often ask me if I ever anticipated that OtterBox could become what it is now. The answer is that I knew the company could and would be able to do anything with the right people, plans and systems fixated on the vision. Defining the vision is the hard part–the rest will follow.

IMAGE: iStock
Last updated: Mar 16, 2012

CURT RICHARDSON | Columnist | Founder and CEO of OtterBox

OtterBox founder and CEO Curt Richardson created the first prototype of a waterproof case in his garage in the early '90s. OtterBox evolved into a leader in protective cases for mobile technology.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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