The story started last week as we began a new monthly theme in the Mastermind program I run with SaaS CEOs from around the world: ‘Remarkable software companies Sell the Idea, Not the Product.’
Next, every member declared a mini project that connects to one of their top priorities. This sets them up for making tangible progress – and work ‘On’ the business.
There’s one I’d like to highlight since it addresses a challenge I see many SaaS companies struggle with: “How do I take our existing vision and mission and make it ingrained in our company?”
To pull this apart: Having a vision is one; living it is an entirely different story.
Now let’s pause here and carve out what happens when a good vision delivers upon its true promise:
- It aligns every employee.
- It creates and maintains a solid vibe amongst your employees, so it sparks discretionary effort.
- It enables autonomous action amongst your employees and guides them in making the right decisions themselves – so that you can focus on working ON the business.
- It helps sales accelerate the deal cycles because they have the ammunition to create the right tension with the right customers.
- It focuses on your plans for next year – and beyond – so that each investment helps you get closer to realizing your vision.
So it all starts with getting your vision right – then the rest becomes a lot easier. But unfortunately, getting it wrong – results in the opposite of all the above statements – making running your SaaS business more costly, stressful, agonizing – and sometimes even harsh.
Fact is, we often don’t even notice. Instead, we struggle living it – day in day out.
How often do we see vision statements that have been put together in off-sites that ended up as a heavily compromised, unreadable statement that tries to please every board member but falls flat on its face when it comes to growing the business?
Quoting Radhika Dutt in her book “Radical Product thinking”:
A vision is a good vision where you see a problem in the world that you want to see solved, and even if you’re not in the picture, you’d be happy to see that problem go away.
So a good vision has to be detailed. As you can read in her book It ideally answers these five questions:
- Whose world are you trying to change?
- What does their world look like? Meaning, what exactly is their problem? And what are they doing today?
- Why is that status quo unacceptable?
- When will you know that you’ve arrived?
- How will you bring about this world?
Question to you: What do you start to see if you challenge your current vision against these five questions?
What does that tell you?