We’re launching a new small group study at Glenkirk, and one thing I know but I’m actually learning through practice is that you have to communicate vision every chance you get. It’s something I want to get better at. It’s an area I’m growing in.
Without fail, every time I feel like I’m repeating myself and sharing the same details of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, someone will walk into the office to ask the same questions I thought everyone already knew. It’s not their fault really – we live in a noisy world. I’m afraid of boring people with the same message, but I’ve got to remember that vision and direction are things leaders think about all the time. The people who take part in the programs/events/activities aren’t giving them the same mental space. They need more time and instruction before new info can be absorbed and “owned.”
Robert Scoble talked about some of the same concepts in his year in review post. Part of vision “sticking” is how it fits in the larger narrative. What’s the story? Why are we doing this?
If your company doesn’t have a story to tell watch out. Keys I’ve learned? Every employee better be able to tell the story. The story better be reflected in the pitch the CEO does. Mike Arrington better understand the story if you want him to help you out (and Mike is just a metaphor here for any journalist or blogger). Your VCs better understand the story. The story better not change. For instance, the story behind Channel 9 at Microsoft hasn’t changed in four years. It was a community and an openess project that helps people get over their fears of Microsoft just like how Lenn Pryor was scared of flying (a pilot told him to turn on channel 9 on United Airlines). Does your business have a simple, compelling, story? My next thing will.
Consistent communication over the long haul. That’s one of my goals for 2008.