CULTURE DRIVER #2 – Creating a Clear and Compelling Vision

A 5-Part Series for Building a Culture of Greatness


Building a strong culture is a “must-have” in business today.  But to do it right requires thoughtful planning, purposeful design – and a dose of inspiration!

Culture is the character or personality of your organization – a blend of core values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.  They say, “Culture eats strategy for lunch!”  It’s an unseen-yet-ever present energy that can steer a company up or down, keep it on mission or force it off-course.

In fact, it can drive growth and profit.  According to Jim Stengel, author of GROW, companies with purpose-driven cultures outperform the competition by 400%!

In our last article, we talked about how credible leaders are the #1 driver of company culture.  In this round, we touch on a second driver – a clear and compelling vision.

When you know who you are, (Core Values), why your organization exists, (Purpose/Cause/Passion), what you’re great at delivering (Niche), where you want to go into the future (3-Year Picture), and how you’re going to get there (Marketing Strategy), you’ll have an internal compass to guide you.  The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) provides a simple tool called the Vision/Traction Organization (V/TO) to help you crystalize your vision.

The Harvard Business Review article, “Building Your Company’s Vision,” by James Collins and Jerry Porras, shows how enduring companies, like 3M, Merck, Sony and Walt Disney create an over-riding Core Purpose that transcends time and is the reason for each company’s existence – beyond making money.  It never can be completed.

While their practices and strategies change continually, the Core Purpose should not.  It is the glue that holds the company together even when everything else is up for grabs.  Here are some examples:

3M – To solve unsolved problems innovatively

Merck – To preserve and improve human life

Sony – To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public

Walt Disney – To make people happy

Truth be told, the people in your organization likely see a different vision than you do.  But if you paint a clear and compelling vision, then your people will be able to “see” the possibilities into the future and determine if they want to be part of it.  You’ll have clarity, direction and a guiding mechanism to make better decisions on strategy and execution – with everyone’s energy pointed in the same direction.

From here, you’ll truly be operating in the “zone,” with all your people, systems and processes aligned with your vision and more effectively managing change

In addition to credible leaders, a clear and compelling vision creates a “culture engine” that inspires employees, drives results and transforms the workplace!

Next month, we’ll address the third culture driver, a company’s core values.  Stay tuned!

If you’ve read TRACTION or worked with an Expert EOS Implementer, you’re all too familiar with the phrase, “As the leadership team goes, so does the rest of the organization!”

For an organization to fulfill its potential, a culture of greatness comes from its leaders who create a “culture engine” that inspires employees, drives results and transforms the workplace across the company!

To take your leadership skills to new heights consider a mindset of continuous improvement.  Some proven online leadership skills assessments include:

  • Leadership 2.0: A Step-By-Step Program to Take Your Leadership Skills To The Next Level
  • Strengths Based Leadership: great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow

Stay tuned for next month’s article on Building a Culture of Greatness through Culture Driver #2: “Creating a Clear & Compelling Vision.”

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