Purpose of a Vision Wall
Creating a company vision isn’t just a good exercise for a company’s CEO and executive staff. You want to get every staff member just as excited about your company’s future as you are!
A vision wall is a manifestation of your company vision – not just a company leader’s vision, but the individual visions of each person at your company. The wall should engage each member of your staff in contributing to the overall vision of the company. Specifically, it should focus on what can be accomplished in the next 3 years.
People often look at this and go, ah, visioning, it’s too airy-fairy, it’s all hippy stuff. It works.
On this “Can You Imagine” wall I first posted up there, “Can you imagine being featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show” with my name below it. I wanted to share with people that you can have big bold dreams. As long as you look at them constantly, you can help make them happen. And we did get on the show.
But other people have put on there, “Can you imagine us being in a third country like Australia?” And this person Lori put his name below it and made it happen.
This exercise will give your employees the opportunity to write down their unique ideas, share them with the company, and see it every day at your office. This is a powerful reminder to your staff that each person should set their sights high and focus each day on turning their individual goals into a reality.
How to Make Your Own Company Vision Wall
1. Choose a wall.
To get started, choose a wall at your office to be your Vision Wall.
It should allow for every employee to post a card 5” x 7” or larger. The size of the wall you need will depend on which format you choose and how many employees you have at your company. It’s nice to have the wall be at least 5’ tall by 8’ wide. If you have a large company, you can go for a substantially larger size.
2. Design the wall.
Pick a design for your wall that fits your company’s culture and budget. If you have an office manager who handles tasks around the office, this is a great project to assign to them, especially if they enjoy using their creativity.
Your wall can be a large chalkboard or whiteboard. It can be a bulletin board. You can even have a street artist paint a unique backdrop.
Make sure to add a label to the wall. You could label it:
- “Can You Imagine?”
- “Vision Board”
- “Wall of Wow”
- “In 3 Years, I Imagine…”
Lastly, choose a type of paper for your staff to write on. You can use colored notecards or print off a stack of custom cards.
3. Engage your company leaders.
Tell your company leaders about the Vision Wall and ask if they could each write down something they imagine accomplishing in the next 3 years the company. Each of their ideas can be unique.
Don’t forget to involve leaders who might not be in management positions at the company. When you last presented an idea, who did employees look to? You want to have those people at your planning meeting so that you can give them advance notice and get them onboard.
A marketing employee might envision the company being featured in Forbes. An HR employee might imagine winning a national Best Place to Work award. Still someone else at the company might imagine the company implementing an everyday take-your-dog-to-work policy. It’s important that you let your employees stretch their imaginations and share ideas that are important to them.
4. Involve your staff.
At your next weekly planning meeting or quarterly event, tell your staff about the wall.
Let your team know that you would like them to each contribute one or more cards to the wall. Explain that they can use the cards to write down anything that they imagine is possible at their company in the next three years that they would be excited to make possible.
Pass out the vision cards that you’ve prepared, as well as Sharpies for people to draw with. (Sharpies will ensure that what people write is easily visible from a distance.) In addition to asking your team to write down their vision, you can also encourage them to draw a doodle next to it. Very importantly, ask every employee to write their name at the bottom of their vision card.
Brian Scudamore, who popularized the idea of a “Can You Imagine” Vision Wall, encourages his team not to think about “how” while they’re dreaming.
Scudamore recommends asking employees, “What are the big things that you think you could make happen with our company that you’d like to leave a bit of a legacy with?”
Some members of your team will probably dive right in. Others might wait to see how your company leaders respond. This is where preparing your leaders in advance will help you get the full team engaged.
Invite people to pin their ideas to the Vision Wall. You can encourage your team to add to the wall that hour. If some prefer to think about it and pin their ideas up later, you can welcome them to take their time but preferably ask for them to submit their contributions by the end of the week.
5. Write down everyone’s ideas.
The Vision Wall will constantly remind everyone at the company of what they and their colleagues imagine is possible. It’s important for you to also document people’s ideas so that you don’t forget about what is important to them.
Don’t forget to keep a set of blank cards on hand so that as new employees join the company, you can invite them to contribute their own vision to the wall.
6. Hold your team accountable.
Now that you have an inspiring wall at your office, hold people accountable for moving toward their goals.
Periodically ask what your staff are doing to reach their goals and share helpful advice when you can. One great benefit of the wall is that it makes people’s goals public so that other people at the company can get involved in working toward each goal.
If time allows, you can even give employees time to work on special projects related to their vision.
When someone accomplishes something on the Vision Wall, put a big “DONE” stamp next to it and celebrate. Throw a company party and make sure everyone knows that it happened!
7. Document the vision wall.
While it’s great to have the wall at your office, it’s also helpful to write down your employees’ ideas in your notebook so you don’t forget who submitted what idea. This will help you to follow up with your staff and help them reach their goals.