Why Transform: A picture is worth a thousand words

Here’s an example.

What does this represent to you?

• Why transform?

• Who will benefit?

For me this is an example of a manifest vision. The goal is to create a picture in your mind of why to transform and what success looks like. What do you see? For more on why you might want to have a manifest vision see the following: https://blog.manifestvisionsolutions.com/2012/03/07/the-value-of-vision-and-solution-description/

In the example you are part of a very successful startup company. To get going you made extensive use of cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. It was great! But over time, your salesreps started to complain (salesreps never do that, do they?); they had to go too many places with different logins to get what they needed to know. It was taking way too long. And it didn’t seem consistent to them; what they had quoted didn’t match the win probability values on the opportunity, they could match their configurations and quotes but couldn’t find quotes they thought they had submitted as orders. And you noticed that your salesreps were spending way more time making sure their commissions were accurate instead of being out there selling. Does any of that seem familiar to you?

For this example, I might respond to the questions above like this:

Why transform?  To increase salesrep productivity and increase revenue; get the reps to spend more time selling!

Who will benefit?  Salesreps, sales operations, sales management, order management, shareholders

Success looks like a happy productive salesrep.

Obviously there’s more to it. People will have many perspectives, so depending on who you’re talking to you might get slightly different answers to the questions. But that’s OK; you want people to see what’s in it for them at the vision level.

Lots of people have commented on the importance of having a vision. Here are some observations I found interesting: 5 Reasons Why Vision Is Important http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St4yaNJkdDQ

Vision has lots of applications; it isn’t limited just to the overall company reason for being. It is an effective tool in any cross functional transformation program where many people need to internalize a common purpose for change.

What do you think of the example? Will people will be able to see why to transform? Will they know what success looks like? I’ve seen a vision like the one in this example used on a program. It was understood by everyone; people were empowered and inherently knew what to do and why. No one was talking about how we couldn’t do something but about how we could and would get things done. It was a productive environment with rapid decision making done at the right level. And the results were spectacular, a global change on time and on budget which was rapidly adopted. Not bad for a little upfront investment!

Do you have a transformation program that could use a picture that is worth a thousand words, a manifest vision?

BTW: I do not endorse or oppose any of the companies whose logos do or do not appear in the example.  They are just the ones I thought of today.

 © Ellen Terwilliger 2012


Why the Manifest Vision Solutions Blog?


My name is Ellen Terwilliger.  Over the last 20+ years I have been responsible for global business applications for a number of Fortune 500 companies.  I love apps!  But more, I love the value that is received when people, process and technology work together end-to-end and make a difference.

My husband, who is in the home health care field and knows absolutely nothing about business, asked me over the years to describe what I do and why I like it.  This is the best way I’ve learned to explain it:

What I do is like putting together jigsaw puzzles.  And not those cute 100 piece puppy dog puzzles either.  In these jigsaw puzzles you don’t know how many pieces there are, the pieces are all cut in similar ways, the picture is the same on the front and the back, the borders are not straight but misshapen and there is often more than one way to complete the puzzle.  Sometimes the puzzles are even 3D!  Putting the puzzle together correctly is like getting a business to run effectively and efficiently.  In addition, I don’t actually touch the puzzle pieces; I influence others to describe and understand them, move them around and ultimately make them fit.  Of course over time I have seen a lot of puzzles and a lot of pieces; but it’s important every time we do a puzzle that everyone working on the puzzle has the same view of the pieces, and the puzzle.  Doing jigsaw puzzles is complex, it’s never works the same way twice and something unexpected always happens.  I thrive on the variety!  Like putting the puzzle together, making business run well is challenging but when it all comes together, it looks cool, is incredibly satisfying and a lot of fun!  I love what I do!

This blog is intended to share experiences and lessons I’ve learned while completing those jigsaw puzzles.  I hope it will help business leaders and anyone involved in attempting to make large-scale change to avoid some pitfalls or better yet, learn something that will make a difference and help you be successful.

Do you like jigsaw puzzles?

© Ellen Terwilliger 2012

The Value of Vision and Solution Description

Have you ever spent millions on a program only to discover it didn’t deliver all that was expected?  Or maybe you found that only one part of the situation was being addressed and other larger opportunities were being ignored or even damaged.  I recall a data center that was built with a window to allow secure visibility.  The only problem was the huge cooling unit that completely blocked the window.  Oops!  I am sure you have a few stories of your own.

I have been a part of a few programs that didn’t quite deliver all they could.  But I have also had the fortune to be on programs that were wildly successful beyond all expectations.  I can say that the latter were a lot more fun!  In seeking to repeat the fun experiences, I analyzed the core differences between the two (and yes, I have read the literature too).  In my experience, the successful programs had vision and solution descriptions that informed everyone on the program how to make decisions in their area.  Each and every person saw the same picture of what success looked like and knew which way to go.  Talk about rapid decision making!

For instance, I was on the leadership team of a global ERP implementation for a $2B company.  The vision for the program was: “Any product or service quoted and then ordered on a single purchase order by the customer”.  The outcome was ease of doing business and customer satisfaction.  Of course there were exceptions to the vision; but people knew to escalate so appropriate decisions could be made.  Recognized as hugely successful by the CEO at an all company meeting, the program came in on time and underbudget.  Pretty powerful stuff; not to mention the awesome party we had with some of the savings!

Here’s another example of the importance of vision: Why Vision is More Important than Strategy

The figure above shows that enormous value is received by your entire organization through the investments made in manifesting your vision and describing your solutions.  And the value continues to flow down into the functions and the people that execute to your vision.  Compared to the time, money and resources required for execution, the investment made in vision and solution is minimal and returned many times over.

What value can you receive through vision and solution description?

© Ellen Terwilliger 2012