Few things are more valuable than a vision meeting when plotting your business’ pathway to success. This form of meeting acts as a platform for open discussion, with your teams sharing their opinions on making the company a more productive, streamlined, and healthy place to work.
In this article, we’ll be running through exactly what to include in a vision meeting, helping you get the most out of this platform.
As the name implies, vision meetings are about envisioning where you want your business to be over the next sprint of a few weeks, months, or even years. By projecting your team into an imaginative future, you’ll be able to discuss company goals, track personal targets, and most importantly, outline your journey towards making those things happen.
There are several different forms of vision meetings, the type mainly coming down to the team members included. For example:
In this article, we’ll mainly focus on the latter two, looking at team-wide vision meetings that involve more individuals.
As a side note, if you’re looking for templates for your one-on-ones, check out these by Hugo.
A vision meeting, also sometimes known as a strategy meeting, allows all of the team to understand where the company wants to be headed. You could use the meeting to form a shorter plan that defines the next steps to complete a project or process. Equally, it could be a long-term plan which plots a directional change in the business.
Successful vision meetings can provide a range of benefits, just as much to your business as a whole as to individual team members. Take a look at the following benefits:
With a successful vision meeting, you’ll be able to bring your team up to speed while planning the future of your business at the same time. Let’s break these key benefits down further.
The plans you define in your vision meeting will provide a pathway towards improving your company's overall success. Whether the metrics you’re aiming to improve are sales, customer retention, or AOV, these meetings will provide a platform where you can discuss how to boost the potential of your business.
By allocating time to strategize and plan, your teams will have the opportunity to identify what behaviors they need to change or which strategies they need to incorporate for your business to reach those goals.
What’s more, by having clearly defined plans backed by research and statistics from your business’ past output, you’ll be able to demonstrate to stakeholders that it’s on the right track to success.
One of the projects undertaken by the Market Science Institute is to trace the impact of business planning and strategy on future profitability, and their results suggest a strong correlation between planning a path to progress and reaching that goal.
It only takes one good idea to completely revolutionize how your team works. From boosting productivity to increasing the turn-around time on projects, small changes in team strategy can make a big difference.
When you include your team in a vision meeting, they know the strategic theory and plan behind the week-on-week work that they’re doing. Understanding what the company wants to achieve allows your employees to proactively change their working styles to support the department on the road to achieving its goals.
With your team in the loop, you’ll no longer have to ask for them to change their behaviors to fit your goals, as they will have all the information they need to shift into action proactively. Not only does this save your business time, but it can boost your employee efficiency and output.
By sharing your business’ thought process and road map towards success with your team, they’ll be able to align their focus with company goals. Instead of working on a job independently without insight into the bigger picture, your employees will know that they lead to a specific goal.
Having a clear vision allows your team to start to self-motivate themselves, feeling included in the goals they’re working towards every day. By breaking down significant, long-term goals into smaller chunks, you provide the road map for your employees to follow.
With the whole team aligned and motivated, you’ll be able to ensure your department is more likely to accomplish the plans you’ve set out.
Running your first vision meeting as a manager will likely come as a challenge. While this meeting format is slightly different from scrum meetings or the weekly team meetings that you’re used to, there are still overlaps that you can use to guide you through the process.
If you’re not sure where to begin, we recommend you include the following four things in your next vision meeting:
A vision meeting typically goes on much longer than weekly team meetings. The forum aims to break down the company and look for improvement points, so you need to give the people in the meeting lots of time to brainstorm.
Due to this longer format, it's essential to make all attendees feel welcome at the beginning of the meeting. The need for flowing conversation and idea generation means that you’ll need a relaxed, but focused atmosphere.
One of the best ways to ensure people feel relaxed as the meeting starts is to give a warm welcome and explain what will occur.
After the introduction, ask people to discuss the current issues that they see within the company with those around them. This could include the projects they run, the workplace culture, or any part of the relationship between business and consumers.
Give enough time for each group to brainstorm sufficiently, after which you should ask them to present their ideas back to the room. Remember that vision meetings are about long-term change, so no issue is too big to bring up.
Make notes of all of the issues raised, then single out several ideas that keep coming up. Suppose there is a particularly critical point or a detail that your team mentions several times. In that case, you’ll know that this is one of the main areas that you should evaluate from now on.
If you’re looking for an agenda for your vision meetings, we suggest going back to basics and imagining your own business as a product. You’ll have to theorize about the big picture, identify key themes, visualize future success, and finally, plan for action. Take a look at this helpful template by Hugo for you to incorporate into your agenda.
Once you have a list of problems submitted by those in the room, take a few and then pose the question of how you could go about refining or improving these areas.
For instance, suppose one of your problems was that projects routinely overrun their delivery dates. In that case, you could discuss ways to boost employee productivity or restructure the expectations of projects in the future.
Alternatively, suppose your employees have outlined that they’re too stressed during the working week. In that case, you can begin to collectively think about the following steps to reduce that stress and achieve a healthier working environment.
Take time to brainstorm, letting teams provide feedback about the different ideas they have to work on the issues they’ve raised.
All good meetings, whether a weekly team meeting or a one-on-one, end with a call to action. Once you’ve collected a range of ideas from all of the attendees, you’ll then be able to outline the next steps towards reaching those goals and overcoming any problems that have risen from the conversation.
Try to include a schedule alongside the action plan, allowing your employees to see exactly how the team will work together to accomplish what you’ve set out.
If you want to make sure your vision meeting goes off without a hitch, endeavor to include these three core elements that managers sometimes overlook:
If you’re looking for an accessible tool to help you plan agenda items, save time, and host flawless vision meetings, then try out Hugo. This all-in-one meeting software will streamline your meetings, letting you do more in even less time.
To run a great meeting, keep the team aligned, and the agenda short, specific, and action-oriented.
One-on-one meetings may be common, but without some care, they’re not always effective.