Vivid Vision: The key to the agile enterprise

Inspired by the CEO whisperer himself, and his book Double Double, Cameron Herold’s idea of the Vivid Vision is the key to achieving real business results in the future.

As a guy who has consulted for Elon Musk, and scaled the company 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s revenue from 2 million to a whopping 106 million in just 6 years, I trust the validity of the vivid vision, and believe it is the business model of the future. Baby boomers are not dominating the workforce much longer, and millennials, Gen Z’s, and so on, work much differently.

People are motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. They want room to grow both personally and professionally. The rigid vision that nobody really cares about does nothing but nose dives morale, and boxes any forward creativity from your smartest most talented employees. As Steve Jobs once said “It does not make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people to tell us what to do.”

In essence, developing the vivid vision, helps you fit in the creative talents of your best employees while still following the business strategy you want.

Developing the Vivid Vision

To really be able to build an empire, and a high-performance culture, you must first be able to "see" what that actually looks like.

The first step to creating a high-performance culture is to create a vivid vision of what your ideal organization looks like. Clearly describe this picture, it must create imagery, you must be able to actually "see" this picture and feel inspired by it.

What does your organization look like?

Who is there with you?

How do the people act?

How do you interact with one another - in conversations, and about projects?

What are the resources you have?

What are your customers or fans saying about it?

When creating this image it must be clear enough, and yet broad enough, to where others can fit their vision inside of it as well. This is what will help you attract others with similar goals to help execute this vision as an entire organization.

Creating a crystal clear image of this provides you with clarity, as well as helping you attract the right people, and repel the wrong people. Once the organization has a clear image of where specifically it wants to go, you can proceed to share this vision with the world and march there in a straight line.

If you're a tech company, it shouldn't be "yeah were trying to do some cool things with technology".

Nice... there's a gazillion other people just like you.

You have to be able to invoke feeling, inspiration, and empowerment. People want to know that if they are boarding your bus, they're going to be a part of something great. People already on the bus, want to be able to see where they are all going and that it leads to a great place; otherwise, they're going to get off at the next bus stop, and get on a different one that actually knows what beautiful place it wants to go to next.

Steve Jobs didn't say "yeah I want to build some cool phones and computers...and uh, I want to invent some stuff nobody has seen"

He communicated the aura of "I want to revolutionize the way people use technology" and then proceeded to paint a crystal clear image of what that looks like and feels like to those he wanted to hop on board and help execute the project.

Vivid, yet broad enough where others can fit their goals underneath the umbrella of that strategic vision.

Leveraging Talent

So now that we know the vivid vision helps others fit their goals inside of the companies goals, we have a clear road map for developing our most-talented employees, even the brilliant innovative strategists. Considered, when dealing with talent, Elon Musk has said in the past “... I didn’t go to Harvard, but people who work for me did”. That explanation is a bit beyond the scope of this article, but the same philosophy rings true. Musk is a big supporter of hiring people better than you as it collectively makes the organization better with each new hire. Moreover, he is a big supporter of innovation as well.

Yes as the leader, you need to steer the ship right from point A to point B, but what happens when the front line see’s things you can’t, or don’t have the “practical smarts” to deal with yourself?

The vivid vision gives you a much stronger framework to put your ego aside and admit you don’t have all of the best answers that exist. Considered, there is a reason why things like Agile is proven to be so critical in a world of constant evolving technology, and never ending certainty. The same goes for the model of decentralized command utilized by the military.

Leadership advocates like Jocko Willink back its effectiveness up substantially.

Moreover, what about on the ball field when the play call breaks down and the players are met with something they’ve never seen before? Do they sit there and twiddle their thumbs, or do they turn nothing into something spectacular, that also hasn’t been seen before— something never even drawn up in your own playbook! As the coach you say to yourself “That’s why I recruited these guys”

If you’ve ever read 11 rings by Phil Jackson, you’ll understand this model. It was a very democratic system that allowed the players to respond to what was happening out on the court, regardless of what was drawn up initially. Several seasons later utilizing the system, 11 NBA championships speaks for itself.

Micromanagement is the box of your potential.

Agility, empowerment, and the vivid vision is the business model of the future.

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