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Picture your dream and go after it! - The power of a larger vision

Companies must craft an inspiring story for diverse stakeholders in today's complex world, outlining their future direction. We asked Catharina Stackelberg why a larger vision is crucial for companies today.

Picture your dream and go after it! - The power of a larger vision

Catharina, what does a larger vision mean?

In this challenging business climate, a forward-looking perspective is crucial. A company's larger vision paints a hopeful picture of its long-term aspirations, going beyond just business objectives to encompass its societal and environmental footprint.

By integrating ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals into this vision, a company demonstrates its dedication to lasting success and positive societal contributions.

Hence, it is imperative to convey the broader vision to stakeholders by emphasizing its benefits and impact. This enhances its tangibility and relatability, providing a clear, concrete guide for the company's daily operations and decision-making.

What are the benefits of a larger vision for businesses?

Having a broader vision serves as a lighthouse in turbulent times. Keeping your gaze on the horizon allows a company to chart its own course rather than merely reacting to external forces.

A broad vision serves a dual purpose. It optimizes existing businesses by providing clear direction and, on the other hand, unveils new opportunities, such as new business models. When acquisitions align with this defined trajectory, all activities converge toward a shared vision of the future, unlocking the company's full potential.

At a strategic level, a vision's primary role is to unlock a company's total value, appealing to investors and external stakeholders. Historical financial data and performance reports lack the inspirational spirit and transformative potential a larger vision offers, effectively communicating the company's future value.

What is the relationship between the larger vision and innovation?

Innovation must align with the overarching vision, whether it involves incremental renovation of the current core business or disruptive breakthrough innovation.

Incremental innovations create consistency. They allow the company to stay relevant and competitive and meet evolving customer expectations.
In contrast, the role of disruptive breakthrough innovations is to open the company's eyes to new opportunities, markets, and revenue streams. They are a tangible demonstration to external stakeholders of the company's progress towards their big dream.

How is a larger vision communicated effectively in practice?

The vision is brought to life through a strategic narrative; a compelling story told in everyday language that anyone can understand.

This narrative clarifies a common direction for internal stakeholders and creates a fire to get things done - and go after it! Meanwhile, external stakeholders learn what the company is becoming and what its value will be. A concrete example of such a strategic narrative is how a publicly traded company communicates its vision, strategy, and performance during a capital market day.

The power of a strategic narrative becomes evident through the growth of the Finnish company, Neste. Although Neste had been developing renewable biofuels alongside fossil fuels for some time, the strategic narrative clarified the groundbreaking possibilities of the transformation of Neste to investors. Today, Neste is recognized as a global leader in renewable biofuels, highlighting how the strategic narrative significantly influenced their journey: change runs on renewables.

Catch Catharina Stackelberg, Senior Vice President, Knowit, and Chair of the Board, Alma Media, as she speaks on vision and innovation at the Nordic Business Forum on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 11:15 a.m. at the HS Visio Studio.

Are you interested in hearing more? We look forward to continuing the conversation!