Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time for Some Visioning

Read an article on about Johnson Controls and an interesting custom there. Every year, all 140,000 employees in over 1,000 locations gather for sessions to discuss the strategic direction of the company, the overall vision, and the challenges the company is facing. Very admirable. I believe that "weigh in equals buy-in," and I would encourage all companies to copy this best practice.

Here are some highlights:
  • Because of financial challenges this year, someone suggested that the vision sessions be cancelled. The CEO said it took about 30 seconds to kill that idea. I've found that most great companies and teams have a "now more than ever" approach to clarity and effectiveness. The hard times are when we really need to do this, not just when things are going well.
  • "In an employee survey afterward, 68% said this year's week improved their understanding of how to effectively serve their customers. A surge of organizational and cultural awareness was created as hundreds of operational, sales and marketing, and support teams shared stories and plans." Sounds like a good return on investment.
  • Johnson Controls also invites some its largest customers to the meeting. Definitely a good idea. When discussing and sharing vision, get the input of customers.

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