By Claire Kelly, Indigo Herbs.
Your company vision is what your business might be one day. A good vision sketches out a picture of where you might be, it doesn’t concern itself with the how. This is an important definition. It’s all too easy to discard the visioning process and whittle it all down to the word success with a set of figures alongside and get down to the all-important strategy of how to make it all happen. But this attitude and approach misses out the potent stage of focusing on the why and where.
It’s important to set a time frame, where will you be in five or ten years’ time, and then talk about that in the present tense. ‘We are empowering optimum nutrition in millions of individuals by supplying superfoods to them’. Don’t use any over descriptive language that is too abstract, make it be a description that says what it does on the tin. ‘We supply 100% pure nutritionally rich superfoods to people and contribute significantly to their wellbeing both physically and mentally’. Don’t make this vision dry either, keep it real but keep it juicy, let it trigger emotion and passion. ‘We defeat the horrors of the food industry by selling delicious high energy foods to people at a price they can afford, therefore changing their entire life experience from lethargy to vitality’. But most importantly you need to really visualise this future reality and flesh out the picture and see the size of your business premises, the number of employees, the satisfied customers, the change in culture you are creating.
When we first started Indigo Herbs in 2005 we really wanted to make superfoods and prepared herbs such as herbal tea leaves, herbal powders and herbal tinctures available and affordable to all. We were using some of these products ourselves and we found them tricky to get hold of at a good price. It seemed like these natural health ingredients had become short in supply and were overpriced and rarefied. When we found suppliers we discovered that we could sell them at a realistic price and quantity and make them available to people like us. This wasn’t just a sales plan we were passionate about people taking responsibility for their own health by becoming aware of the power of optimum nutrition and the effects of a plant based diet.
So not long after setting up the basics to trade on line and launching a small range of products simply packed by hand we decided it was necessary to sit down and craft our vision. We turned to what Saatchi & Saatchi call organising ideas and we used these questions to draw out our company vision.
- Dream … why do we exist?
- Spirit … who are we?
- Beliefs … what do we stand for?
- Character … what are our attributes?
- Greatest imaginable challenge
What was really important was that we allowed ourselves to think big and channel our passion into crafting this vision. Understanding why your company exists is mind expanding stuff, what really is your dream here – being an entrepreneur is an opportunity to allow your dream to fuel what you do. Dream big but express it in a real way. Getting your head around who your company is and being able to catch hold of the spirit behind it is important work. So what is the essence of your company endeavour? Feel it, breathe it, and catch hold of it. Knowing what you stand for in the world, what badge you are wearing is an opportunity to answer the big questions. When you are involved in the minutiae of decision making months or even years after setting this vision you will need to reflect on your core beliefs and have that yard stick to guide your decisions and know what opportunities are the right ones for you. You should try and understand the character of your business, who they would be if you met at a party and what attributes will still be true in five or ten years’ time? Then last but not least it is very important to allow yourself to pick the greatest imaginable challenge. You need to really believe in this. Indigo Herbs wants to see superfoods on every food retail store counter, featuring in all the prime positions and be as prevalent as Coca Cola. Dream big but keep it real.
A lack of vision can be the root cause of your organisations woes. Having a context of why the company exists and where it is going can inform so many of the activities henceforth and a lack of it can be the reason for the pain points that occur. It’s important to craft those organising ideas and write them down clearly and concisely and then of course make them available for all eyes to see. These ideas have the potential to inform the place your company might take up in the market, the unique selling point of your brand and your outgoing communications. You could be a dentist who is technically brilliant, you could be a dentist that cares but are you the dentist that is on a mission to make all his patients leave his consultation room laughing and even singing! These organisational ideas are not just influential in communications and brand definition they also have a considerable amount of power in company culture, managerial styles and motivation. Singing from the same hymn sheet on the questions of why you are doing this and where you are going to, does wonders for company motivation, tenacity and determination.
At Indigo Herbs we have found that the vision we crafted some ten years ago remains strikingly true, it has guided us in hiring and firing and defined how we build our organisational structure. We turned to it for our inspiration during our packaging redesign project in 2015, and by expressing more overtly the company vision on the pack we substantially increased sales and discovered that this unique story of ours was exactly what our customers wanted to connect with. We continue to share our vision at our bi-annual staff presentations in which we allow this vision and its impact on the world we influence, and most importantly the roles every company member plays in achieving this vision, to be the driving and uniting force. This has provided a guiding light for us over the years and given purpose and meaning to the hard graft that needs to be done to achieve our goals. It means everyone is navigating towards the same star, and there is a certain amount of cosmic design to that.
So what are your organising ideas?
ABOUT INDIGO HERBS
Indigo Herbs supplies a broad range of Natural health ingredients including herbs, superfoods, wholefoods and natural botanicals. We are passionate about supporting people on their journey to optimum health and wellbeing. Sourcing the finest quality ingredients from around the globe since 2005 it is Indigo Herbs mission to make good quality, 100% pure, natural health ingredients available and affordable to all. Indigo Herbs also publishes a natural health guide, blog and recipe collection as we believe that empowerment is the key to optimum health and that begins with information and inspiration.