Bold Vision | Whiteboard

Insights is a collection of resources created and curated by Whiteboard.


Insight 04 | January 11, 2016

Bold Vision

by Eric Brown
”Vision is a clear articulation of how the world ought to be.”

What kind of vision are you casting for the people around you? What kind of vision are you casting for your work? What kind of vision are you casting for your life?

Bold is defined as taking risks, being confident and courageous—often used to define gold medalists, battle heroes, and other individuals who stand above the rest. Every new year comes with a myriad of discussion and self-help tips on how to create bold vision for yourself. In the world of branding and marketing we can’t discuss bold vision without defining what [brand] vision is.

The first book I ever read on branding was by Dr. Leslie de Chernatony entitled, From Brand Vision to Brand Evaluation: The Strategic Process of Growing and Strengthening Brands. It’s the best book on branding I’ve ever read. In it, de Chernatony explains:

“Too often brands are examined through their component parts: the brand name, its logo design, or packaging, advertising or sponsorship…Real brand management. however, begins much earlier, with a strategy and consistent, integrated vision.”

“Without a well-defined vision a brand could be in danger of drifting and when faced with an unforeseen threat a short-term solution may result which could shift the brand’s direction. A good brand vision spurs managers, staff and consumers towards greater things.”

Over the years, I’ve learned countless lessons from the people I work with on a daily basis. Their passions inspire our team to do the work we do. Our best work always results from strong vision. Vision that understands the end result and shows up everyday to push a little further to the goal.

Key Messages


01

Brand Vision is built by three pillars: future environment, values, and purpose.

02

"Vision provides guidance about what to preserve and what to change.” - Jim Collins

Bestselling author, Jim Collins, says this about vision, “ Companies that enjoy enduring success have a core purpose and core values that remain fixed while their strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. The rare ability to balance continuity and change-requiring a consciously practiced discipline – is closely linked to develop a vision. Vision provides guidance about what to preserve and what to change.”

I repeat for emphasis, “Vision provides guidance about what to preserve and what to change.”

I think vision can be misunderstood – many people perceive “vision” as a plan for change. Where having vision means having a plan for how you want the world to be different. But vision isn’t simply about being different, it’s a clear understanding of how you think the world should be. Change is implicit. Great vision isn’t judged by how much change is contained within it, but by how clearly it can be articulated, because a “bold vision” that no one understands is about as useful as a broken pencil without a sharpener. It’s easy to erase the progress you’ve made, but impossible to add anything new.


03

Vision is a clear articulation of how you think the world should be.

Here are a few past and present examples of how bold vision influences society:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. had a vision of a society in which race was not an issue in how people were treated or in how they were allowed to live their lives.
  • Steve Jobs’ vision of a “computer for the rest of us” sparked the PC Revolution and made Apple an icon of American business.
  • Henry Ford became renowned for his revolutionary vision: the manufacture of an inexpensive automobile made by skilled workers who earn steady wages.
  • In Mother Teresa’s vision, feeding the hungry and caring for the dying are not ends in themselves, but a share in Christ’s own redemptive “work of love”.
  • Scott Harrison’s vision is for everyone on the planet to have access to clean water.
  • Bridget Hilton’s vision to use business to help fund hearing restoration around the world.
  • Nick Macco and Adam Boeselager’s vision to preserve memories and encourage family-time, one home movie at a time.

 


04

Usually, bold vision looks like a promise no one has the courage to make.

05

Your vision is your responsibility.

If you’re the vision holder, I think the most important attribute is learning to point the finger of responsibility inward instead of outward. I see a lot of people with good ideas and great potential start blaming external things when the vision gets cloudy or the plan gets difficult. No matter what happens, blaming the circumstance is a commitment to failure.

The words of Suzy Kassem, “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

Your vision is your responsibility.

Final Thoughts

Former Indianapolis Colts head coach, Tony Dungy, says this, “Vision has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our vision is what we become in life.” Vision is the heartbeat. It’s the purest reason people show up to do the work.

What kind of vision are you casting for the people around you?

Eric Brown, CCO
Footnotes

Making Ideas Happen
Scott Belsky

In 2010, I read this book by Scott Belsky. His work with Behance and 99u has been a constant source of learning and inspiration for me. This book served as a foundation for my work ethic.

From Brand Vision to Brand Evaluation by Leslie de Chernatony was the first book I ever read on branding. This is a must read for those interested in branding.

Visioneering
Andy Stanley

I read my first book by Andy Stanley when I was sixteen years old and sophomore in high school. Since then, I've almost read every book Andy Stanley has written. As vague as "vision" can sound sometimes this book made vision tangible. Whenever vision seems to large I go back to Andy's words in this book.

Building Your Company's Vision
Jim Collins & Jerry I. Porras

In 1996, Harvard Business Review featured this piece on how to build your company's vision. I found this resource in 2016 while researching online. It's worth the read when considering your brand vision.

For every organization, it is critical to remember that vision begins with the end result. Make a list of your goals before you or your organization dies.


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