As we approach the beginning of a new year our whole team has been devoting time considering and creating our new company vision. The last time Steph and I took time out to do a similar exercise was nearly three years ago – and it was a very different experience to the one we had most recently.

A vision that the team connects with and is inspired by can have transformational effects on the way a business operates and how it feels on a day to day basis. SK Chase is living proof of that – and I’m beginning to understand and appreciate the power of unity when it comes to what’s intended for the future.

A good vision

A good vision will not only provide everyone with a clear picture of what the business is going to be in the future, it can also provide a context for decision making and how people within the business behave with each other and with everyone they come into contact with. A good vision will make the team feel more connected with the business and with each other and, in my case, myself.

A bad vision

If a vision doesn’t evoke positive emotion and if the team are unable to connect with it – and if it doesn’t resonate with the beliefs of the people working for the company, then the chances of it being realised are pretty slim. Yes, a vision is meant to be aspirational, it can feel ‘far away’ (as ours first did) – but it has to resonate and motivate as well as provide alignment and focus, otherwise it can have an adverse effect, and just be something pinned on the wall and cringed at when walked by.

If you’re not walking the talk, then you’re not committed. And don’t expect your colleagues to be committed if you’re not.

Our first vision

When Steph and I first set up SK Chase I had a vision – which as well as being free to create something from scratch, was (and happily still is) to make things easier for hotel operators. And when I thought about our business in the future I could literally see and feel it growing arms and legs.

In fact, that’s the way I judge whether a business idea is good or not – if I can imagine how it can be made even better, really easily – and imagine a ton of extra opportunities that idea may bring, then to me it’s a winner.

Using Vision and values to say ‘no’

We’ve made decisions not to work with companies based on us not feeling that their culture matches ours.

And with a clear vision (which we have had) we’ve been able to easily decide whether to go for something or not – depending on whether it’s going to support us on our way to realising our desired experience for the future.

Yes, it’s vitally important to our business to make a profit, so that we can continue to invest in our team, our product and service; as important as that, is that we enjoy what we do – every day – and know that we can live our values of being open, honest and fair, having the confidence that we won’t have to compromise.

Yes man

In the current climate it can be tempting to say ‘yes’ to things that you and your business don’t want to do. This leads to losing focus. I feel proud when I hear that a member of our team has had the confidence to say no to someone– it demonstrates to me that they value themselves and the business too much to put us in a position that will cause a drag (what we refer to as ‘down energy’) internally.

And it feels great when we work with a business where we have a genuine partnership (and that’s what we feel with the majority of our clients) – it’s hugely rewarding and contributes to our feeling of fulfilment.

Being a vision

What I love so much about the vision that we’ve recently created together, is that as well as it being something to aim towards, it’s also something that we can be here and now.

I mentioned at the beginning of this blog that the experience Steph and I had when we last spent time together on our vision was very different to the one we had recently.

That’s for two reasons:

  • We were in a place, at the time, that we didn’t want to be – and our Vision for the future felt far away
  • We didn’t involve the rest of the team

This time round it felt to me that our vision was created from the inside out – that the roots are from each of us –we all contributed.  And it was a-maz-ing.

What also struck me is that our vision didn’t feel too far away – and that’s because the business (and me, to be honest) is in a place that we’re really happy to be in. That’s because we realised our vision that we created 3 years ago. How cool is that?

I’ve had moments this year of realising that I’m living my dream – and much of this is due to the brilliant team we have in place – which is enabling me to live the life I have literally dreamed of.

Just a few words

Our new vision is to build our business and be proud of all we are and do.

These few words hold within them feelings that only our team is aware of right now – the power of being true to ourselves and creating our future success and happiness.

So what’s behind them?

That’s for us to know and you to find out!

I look forward to building our existing relationships with our colleagues, our clients and our partners – and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a new year full of happiness, peace and profit.

P.S. And a special thank you to Fergus King from Shirlaws Coaching for supporting our team with our Vision.