A feature on many of today’s automobiles is the voice navigation system. Here’s what it might sound like if the voice navigation system (VNS) were applied to a business:
VNS (alluring female voice): Please enter a destination.
Manager: I’d like to grow market share and increase shareholder value.
VNS: Please enter a valid destination.
Manager: I’ve already told you I want to grow market share and increase shareholder value. Oh yeah, and we want to be a leader in innovation…as long as we can reduce costs by 15% this year.
VNS: Very well. Proceed one-half mile and then turn left, right, straight and reverse, all at the same time.
Manager: But that’s impossible. I can’t do all those things at once.
VNS: Precisely. You haven’t really honed in on what your business is trying to achieve. Where exactly is your destination?
VNS: Where exactly is your destination?
Where exactly is YOUR destination? One of the disadvantages of our reliance on computing technology is the atrophy of our creative, spatial insights. Such insights are critical to envisioning where we want our businesses to be a year, or five years, from now. Simply spitting out numbers relative to EBIDTA, operating margins and return to shareholders is not good enough and does little to energize the organization. Our efforts to set strong strategic direction inherently depend on a clear understanding of the aspirational components of the business: mission, vision, goals, and objectives.
If you have any examples of great or just plain awful ones, let’s take a look.