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How to Play Your Vision

Just as I can't know what an instrument will sound like before it's played, I can't appreciate your vision before you start executing
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Can you describe sound? Sound, like the vision you have for your business, is invisible. Like sound, your vision is impossible to fully describe.  

If I’d never heard a piano before, how would you describe its sound? What does a piano sound like?  Really ponder that question for a minute.

If you show me the actual piano, explain the keys, pedals, and even open the top and show me the strings, hammers, and harp, would I then know what the music sounds like? What if you showed me the sheet music? Nope, I still wouldn’t hear it.

A business is like an orchestra--people must be present to make sound. When you can include passion, training, experience, alignment and other valuable attributes, you produce better sound.

How do you fine-tune your business and let your employees fully understand your vision? The vision you have for your business is communicated through objectives, which are aligned to strategic plans that are executed through tactical implementation. Just as I can only hear the sound of a piano if it’s being played, I can only fully appreciate your vision if it’s put into action and not just written on paper.

As the visionary, you are what I call a Way One thinker. You communicate the objective, but to be able to implement strategy and tactics aligned to meeting your business objective, you need the right thinkers working within the right roles of the company. You need qualified Way Two thinkers, or strategists, and Way Three thinkers, the tacticians or subject matter experts.

Above all else, if you want your business to fulfill your vision, you must have strong lines of communication. Just like a piano, the parts must work together in a complimentary manner. If you’re the visionary, you and your strategist must communicate the objectives and plans. The strategist must then communicate to the tacticians not only the plan and how they’re going to execute it, but also how the tactics fit into the bigger picture - or impact the business objective. All the parts of your business must be arranged in the proper order and executed by qualified people sitting in the right seats producing their desired results.

When communication is fluid and effective in the workplace, your vision will be executed from every level of the company. Every part of the instrument will understand its function and impact on meeting the business objective.

What happens if lines of communication are crossed? Just like a piano that needs tuning, there will be disharmony. An effective training and development process tunes the instrument that is your business.

The Way One, or visionary, is the conductor, but until he or she starts to lead there is no music. He or she cannot simply turn to the audience and say, “Let me explain the sound you are going to hear tonight.”

Last updated: May 28, 2013

R MICHAEL ROSE | Columnist

Michael is the CEO of Mojo Media Labs, a digital marketing agency that has become the laboratory for his Return on Energy methodology. He is an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University and a guest speaker at Southern Methodist University.

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



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