Successful planning follows organizational vision

A company culture guided by your values will set the foundation for attracting and keeping the right people

Every plan begins with a vision of a successful outcome. We encourage salespeople to dream big and work hard toward their vision of professional success. Effective CEOs and team leaders will always have a vision of what a top performing organization looks like.

How can you make sure that each member of your team has compatible career goals that will align well with your company’s objectives? And how can you coach each team member to keep their individual plans on track with both their career goals and your company’s vision? It is crucial to first know exactly what you stand for as an organization in a sea of competition.

Do you know your company’s “MVP,” that is its mission, vision and positioning in the market? Can you clearly articulate these drivers to your employees and potential recruits?

If you are your firm’s owner or CEO, your personal business vision will largely determine your organizational vision, which will provide the cultural foundation for branding, recruiting, onboarding, training, coaching and managing your people. A well-articulated company vision can also provide a beacon for attracting the right kind of talent to your business.

A local magazine dedicates one of its issues each year to “The Best Companies to Work for in New Hampshire.” The rankings are based on several work quality factors, not the least among them are strong company values and the vision of leadership. Having worked with some of these companies over the years, I’ve witnessed how talent in the market will proactively apply for their available positions. These companies tend to have a pipeline of potential recruits on file and when they advertise an open position, they hear from qualified applicants.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could attract top talent so that you’re always growing your team with some of the top market performers? Would you like to see your people not just satisfied with their jobs but inspired to perform their best each day?

In Dave Matteson’s book, “The Road to Excellence,” a roadmap to good planning is based on 10 best practices which, if followed, lead to effective execution and ultimately, goal fulfillment. It’s no surprise that leading these best practices are steps to developing organizational vision. We’ll take a brief look at each of these planning best practices:

1. Develop a personal vision: Strong leaders have compelling personal visions of where they want to go in life and who they want with them. Is your personal vision in writing?

2. Create the organizational vision, mission, values and beliefs: Develop an organizational destination and craft a mission statement with supporting values and beliefs.

3. Analyze the external environment: Identify the realities facing your organization now and in the future, and face up to them.

4. Conduct a SWOT analysis: Lead your team in an open discussion of your firm’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. SWOT is a tried-and-true planning tool that is of real value in sales management.

5. Revisit the organizational vision: After a measured period of time, strong leaders will reassess their vision and mission statements for clarity of direction.

6. Identify key priorities: It’s important to limit scope to keep your focus. We recommend that leaders set no more than three strategic priorities for their organizations.

7. Establish clear expectations for each key priority: Quantify measurable objectives in strategic areas. Break your expectations into measurable targets for your team to aim at.

8. Set action items and due dates and assign responsibilities: As the leader, it’s you who needs to direct what needs to be done, by whom and when. Let your experience and training guide you.

9. Allocate resources to accomplish the action plan: Create appropriate budgets for each key priority and assign your available resources to accountable people in key roles.

10. Conduct regular planning reviews: Great leaders know that continuous course correction is necessary for keeping action plans on track and making progress. Your review process should be disciplined and rigorous enough to keep your team alert and ready to seize opportunities.

A unique company culture guided by your vision and values will set the foundation for attracting and keeping the right people. You strategic plans will be according to best practices and your selling executions will reflect those of the really great companies to work for!

Kevin Hallenbeck, principal of Sandler Training-Manchester, can be reached at 603-232-1520 or through

Categories: Workplace Advice