Innovation Hack 8 - You Always Need a Vision

And it doesn't need to be crazy

WHAT is today’s hack?

Today’s short thing to remember is: “Start at the End”.
Which means everything we work on should have a clear big goal defined before thinking about the first step. Always.

WHY is it important?

I see so many projects fail because no one took a few hours to think about the goal. I then ask the following questions: How are you supposed to take the first step if you don’t know where you’re going?
How do you know if you’ve reached the goal?
How do you know when to stop?

A big vision guides the team, it motivates them and it reduces the scope.

WHEN can it be used?

From my perspective, a vision is needed for every single project we’re working on. And by vision I mean a vision created by every person involved: by us, by people around us, by important stakeholders, by our customers.

If we work on a new feature we want to perfectly know how our customers envision the perfect future. We want to know what words they use, what is important, what isn’t.

HOW to apply the technique at work?

I usually get 5-6 diverse roles together and ask them: “Imagine it’s one year later and everyone is talking about this project, the customers are delighted and your team is happy. What happened?”.

But the process of creating a vision doesn’t need to be that difficult:

  1. At Amazon, they always start every project with a press release.
    Isn’t this a great way to make people think about value instead of features?

  2. Think of a list of five adjectives you want others to describe your company or your product. Imagine how you want your shareholders, customers, employees, prospects to describe it. Now you’ve created a goal for every employee to keep in mind in whatever they do.

Always start at the end. The difference in adding this step is gigantic.