Our Vision & Blues (Blue Oceans)

The other "cornerstone tool" that "holds" the model together is the VISION, where we wish to be in the future. It is the second most important tool since it establishes the "shifts or adjustments" needed as the day to day operations flow into the future and makes possible a logical and cohesive framework of Strategic Objectives, Strategic Focus Areas, Strategic Projects and delegated actions.

In practice, this concept has never ceased to amaze me. It is present throughout time, history, geographic locations, countries, cultures, societies and religions:  from Mexican Indians smoking peyote, to Old Testament Biblical Verses. Humans are a projective species. we somehow have a need to live with a thought in the future, and the way we treat and/or manage that process seems to affect our capability to shape it.

It often happens that: if your desires are clear, and you work hard, focused and diligently in the correct strategies, you will make them a reality. 

Vision - a definition

• The conceptualization of a dream about a better future.

• When shared, it establishes a common direction and creates a sense of identification, belonging and commitment.

• How does it work? I have two theories that hold logic:

    a. Subconscious focus. If something is important in our head, opportunities to advance towards it get "highlighted" in front of us. Pregnant (you or significant other)? You see a pregnant lady in every corner. Want to buy a red SUV? You will see dozens in the road. 


If the future is important for all your team members, you activate "many brains" to consciously and subconsciously seek for opportunities to advance it. If you as management, establish communication channels to hear, filter and execute in a prioritized manner, you will put all the available brain power to work in a coherent fashion, your vision becomes a reality.

A KEY here is participation. If I participate in the process, I will feel that the results are "mine" (ownership); and, like a creature we help procreate, we will work hard to protect him/her into full bloom!

     b. Somehow to me, the dream seemed to be a prerequisite of reality, but that sounded "too esoteric" for the corporate world, so I seldom explained that option at workshops.... until one day, while I was deciding either to share this or not with a group, it dawned on me that proof has been in front of my eyes always... if you look around the room, chairs, conference table, windows, curtains, lights, carpets, computers... everything at one time was the dream of someone, and those physical items are proof that dreams (desire, decision, planning and action) almost always preclude reality!

Should we revise or rewrite our Vision?

IF you do NOT have a written Vision, skip straight to the next section below called Developing YOUR VISION.


If you have a written Vision already created and in use, please type it in the Strategic Framework Section; BUT, before doing that, ask yourself:


Should we revise or rewrite our Vision?


Discuss the following questions. If your answer to anyone of those is no or not sure, you should probably review your Vision by going through the process on the section DEVELOPING YOUR VISION below


1. If I randomly ask 5% of your employees what is your VISION, will they know it without looking for it somewhere?


2. Does your Vision reflects some sense of consonance with your MISSION  statement, in terms of reflecting VALUE that is easily recognized by a customer?


3. Is your Vision quite unique, differentiated, when compared to organizations like yours?

4. Is it EXCITING, worth busting your heart to attain it?

4. Do you and your team can answer a firm YES to ALL questions on the last section here: Testing the Vision.


If you answered NO or NOT SURE to any of the above questions, you should consider doing some work on DEVELOPING YOUR VISION next.

HOLD ON!!!!! Feeling the BLUES?

I will not be completely honest without disclosing here Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS), a revolutionary concept which I trained on in 2008 and have utilized on special cases for years since then, now re-conceptualized after over 10 years experience and thousands of applications worldwide in the book released September 2017: BLUE OCEAN SHIFT

Those are the letters BOS in our Strategic Model diagram placed right before the Vision (see way above at the top of this page) 

My generic recommendation is that if you are new to Strategic Planning, maybe browse through the concepts to have them in your head throughout this process and address it during the next couple of years; but, if you are not and/or the competition is killing you, go through it full blast BEFORE this visioning exercise. If you need hand holding we can arrange special pricing to do so through SKYPE or physical visits to your facility (contact us eduardo@e-arroyo.com ).

Some useful sites to explore BOS are:

An Introduction to Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy: Making the Competition Irrelevant (a University lecture)

Blue Ocean Strategy Summary

What is Blue Ocean Shift

Blue Ocean Shift - Steps To Inspire Confidence And Seize New Growth

BLUE OCEAN SHIFT: How People Facing Obstacles, Like All of Us, Change the World?

Developing YOUR VISION  - EXERCISE Process Guidelines

  • Divide your Strategic Team in subgroups of between 3 to 7 people each.

  • Instruct the teams to create a drawing* (real and/or abstract and in consensus - nothing goes to the drawing unless everyone in the subgroup agrees) representing the organization we desire to have in 3-5 years.

    • *Ideally draw on a large flip chart paper, with CRAYOLAS or Colored Pencil, but in practice a paper and pen or pencil works!​

  • All involved MUST participate in the actual drawing - everyone must draw (no matter how bad!)

  • There are No restrictions (money, time other resources will be obtained). 

  • Consider the following components (if applicable): 

    • Your Mission's Value creation operational capabilities and effectiveness

      • Facilities​

      • Training

      • Technology

      • People's behavior (organizational culture)

    • Clients

    • Organization's members (employees)

    • Suppliers

    • Society

    • Board of Directors

    • Investors

    • Community

  • The subgroups will, together with the drawing, create a LEGEND that summarizes the elements present in the drawing. For example: The flying dove exemplifies a culture that will promote and appreciate creative thinking... the satellite represents the acquisition of state of the art information technology....

  • They have 60 minutes to finish the drawing with the legend - have team member sign with their initials, date the drawing, take a picture of it (one of the DRAWING, an another of the subgroup with drawing) for the future, and be ready to present to the rest of the team.

  • Present and process the drawings (take pictures!)

    • Assign a person to take notes​​ for the whole process. Those notes aggregately summarize the elements presented on all the drawings, by COMPONENTS (see instructions above that list major components: operational capabilities, clients, employees...) noting the frequency they where presented.

  • Assign a smaller team, maybe 3 people, possibly one from each subgroup to work separately from the team in taking this raw "vision seeds-thoughts and converting them into a "Draft Vision"

    • This MUST be presented and discussed with the Strategic Teams approval in two hours or less.

    • Like everything in this process you may want to take it through your sounding boards and if applicable to the Board of Directors.​

  • NOTE: Final VISION can take many "styles", written clearly and in present tense (like you where already there, living it), mainly:

    1. An Impacting  Phrase​:

      •  "To be the World's Favorite travel Company." Marriot

      • "One Global Strategy, Millions of Strategic Plans Creating Value for ALL, Large and SMALL." StratExec by Arroyo

    2. One or several paragraphs describing the aspiration:

    3. ​BULLETS (3 to 7 bullets, might have sub bullets for expanding)

      •  Coca Cola:

        • To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

          • Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

          • People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

          • Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

          • Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

          • Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference

    4. Combination of the above styles.

Testing the Vision Statement

-  Is it clear and in present tense?

-  Do you get goosebumps when you read it?

-  Does it gets you excited on getting down to work?

-  Can you "feel" how great it will be living that vision - executing in that reality?

-  Does the Strategic Team, at least a large majority of it, feel the same way?

If you passed the TEST, CONGRATULATIONS, you now have a SOLID  Vision !

Now please type it in the Strategic Framework Section.

REMEMBER: Your STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK is your UNIQUE  URL (INTERNET) Address you where given when you first submitted it DO NOT CREATE ANOTHER ONE! This same URL was also included on the email you received after creating and/or editing your STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK. This email is sent to you from "StratExec CLIENT Strategic Framework <noreply@123contactform.io>" and the URL is in the row called Submission Edit LINK.


Write down the final statement in several places. You do not want an accident to cause you to loose all this excellent work