At PM+M, we have a vision about what our business will look like in 4 or 5 years’ time. It includes some pretty big and audacious targets and one or two challenges to address if we are to achieve it. Having a vision is important to any business but the key to realising it must be that the vision is understood and shared by most of the people in the business. Without this, such a vision becomes something thought up by senior management and completely meaningless to everyone else. The key challenge for me, as a leader of this business, is communicating the vision and what it means for everyone.
In April, the whole of the PM+M team got together for our annual ‘Whole Firm Meeting’, or WFM for short. This is where everyone in the firm gets the opportunity to think about the four year vision and strategy for the business so that we all engage with it and understand our part in making it happen. The major need is for us all to appreciate how we need to change ourselves and the way that we behave in response to the challenges that the vision presents.
The PM+M ‘Whole Firm Meeting’
To help in the communication process, I’ve spent time with a specialist consultant who helped me appreciate the need for communication to be a structured two way thing. There are some real gems that our team have contributed in developing the PM+M strategic plan and these have been uncovered because we use fun workshops and other exercises to consult with everyone and to ask them what ideas they have about the things that we should be doing, what contribution they should like to make, how they want to be involved, how they feel about what we are saying, what anxieties they have about change, what support they need and what success looks like and means for them.
As a member of a peer support group called MD2MD, a group of business leaders in the North West, I have had the opportunity to gain an insight into how other leaders approach engagement and development of a shared business vision and this has also helped me to develop my own approach.
Communication isn’t a once a year activity and we support our WFM with regular departmental updates, informal ‘Coffee and Cake’ meetings and quarterly performance review sessions. The idea is to maintain the focus on what each of us is doing in support of achieving the vision and how we are progressing with our personal objectives and challenges. The aim is to keep the vision personal and to make sure that everyone knows what their efforts are achieving as part of the ‘Big Picture’. All of this kind of activity also contributes to our Investors In People (IIP) status because, after all, IIP is really all about doing the right things.
Do you agree that the key to achieving your targets lies in communicating your vision? How are you realising your growth ambitions? I’d be really interested to hear readers’ thoughts and suggestions, so please feel free to leave a comment in the box at the bottom of this post. Alternatively, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01254 604323. And, you can share this post on social media platforms by clicking on the social share icons at the top of the page.
Stephen Anderson, Managing Partner