Every change initiative needs a clear, well-articulated vision of the desired future state. The vision describes what the organization will become as a result of a successful implementation of the change initiative.
There are at least four ways you can use a clear future state vision to help move the organization forward.
The vision of the future is the North Star for your organization, and for the change initiative. As you develop your methods for influencing change, verify that they move the organization towards the vision.
As the picture of the desired future, the vision is the common thread across all stages and elements of change. Share the picture of where they’re going to help people imagine it and move towards it. Communicate the vision to foster hope and inspire the crowd.
If your vision is for the whole organization, then different subgroups may create a vision of their own to guide change in their area. Having one shared destination enables different groups to customize their own path while remaining aligned.
While the vision is considered the North Star, that doesn’t mean it stays fixed forever. At regular intervals, review the future state to make sure it’s keeping up with conditions inside and outside the organization. Keep the vision fresh, so your change initiative stays relevant.
As people disembark from the status quo, the future state provides the common place to go. Define the future state, and then apply this vision as a source of focused energy for your change initiative.
Not sure how to clearly define the future state? There’s a whole chapter devoted to clarifying the vision in the Influence Change at Work Toolkit.