V2MOM for Small Businesses: Align Your Vision and Take Action

Creating alignment across your organization is a lot harder than it sounds. This is especially true when it comes to sharing long-term goals and visions — and creating a plan for making those dreams come true. That’s where V2MOM steps in. V2MOM is a system for helping organizations create, delegate, and execute goals effectively and on-time.

Created by Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff, V2MOM helps businesses succeed by providing them with more clarity and alignment on their long-term vision. Armed with a shared goal and an understanding of how to reach it, companies following V2MOM are much more likely to achieve their visions and see measurable results along the way.

This method was designed with the enterprise entity in mind, but that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t follow suit. In fact, the principles outlined in V2MOM can help companies of all sizes clarify responsibilities, maintain accountability, and take action where it matters. Here’s a deep look at what the V2MOM strategy is — plus how to apply it to your small business.

What is V2MOM?

V2MOM stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures. It may all seem like a complex business strategy, but it’s actually a realistic method for achieving goals and dreams. It’s also a combination of many existing productivity frameworks and leadership styles, all of which share a common thread for success. Yet unlike many outdated management styles, V2MOM is designed for the modern pace of business and is easy to understand and digest by anyone, regardless of their experience in business.

Another way V2MOM differs from traditional leadership styles is that it isn’t just for the executive level. It’s true that V2MOM documents should first be created by organizational leaders, but it should then be passed down to managers and, later, employees who all create their own living document based on the long-term goals of the organization.

This is an important step because it helps each individual understand how their own values and methods contribute to the long-term vision of the company. Moreover, it helps them create their own accountability by committing to realistic milestones they’re passionate about achieving.

V2MOM For Small Business Success

When you’re first getting started with a V2MOM for your business, it can help to clearly define what it is and why it matters in your own words:

  • What is your V2MOM?
  • Why is it important for your business?
  • What do you want to achieve by using V2MOM?

Then, you can share this document with your managers or employees and have them use it to create their own. If your business doesn’t have managers or employees, simply work with whatever partners or stakeholders you have in order to achieve a manageable goal collectively.

An important thing to keep in mind when learning about V2MOM is that it isn’t meant to be a static corporate document. Rather, it’s a living document, says Nozbe founder and V2MOM method user Michael Sliwinksy. This document can be created to set goals for a short-term period, such as 3 months, and then revisited and reassessed.

Additionally, this strategy is designed to help you take action and see realistic goals to their fruition. You shouldn’t add anything that doesn’t seem achievable. Since it’s designed to be applicable to employees of all levels across any organization, it needs to be written in a clear, actionable way that feels manageable to everyone.

One way to organize all of your thoughts and visions is to create a dedicated V2MOM Trello board. This is a great way to view your vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures in a layout that’s easy to see and access by all team members.

To get you started on creating your business’ first V2MOM documents, let’s take a look at how we define each element of V2MOM, as explained by Salesforce’s V2MOM Module.

Vision

When many people think of vision, they think of long-term wishes and dreams that may or may not be attainable. In this context, it’s important to think of your vision as a goal you want to and can achieve. Your vision is also something that’s important to you: an idea, product, or service you’d like to bring into the world. Your vision can change from year to year, especially as you achieve one vision and move onto the next.

To create your vision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What impact will it have on your small business?
  • How will it inspire employees?
  • What role will it play in supporting customers and creating community?
  • How can you make it inspiring, fun, and creative?

When writing your vision, try to strike a balance between bold and realistic. While you want to dream big, you also want your dream to feel achievable (not overwhelming) by everyone working toward it.

Values

Your values are what keep you grounded and aligned as you work to make your vision come true. Values are principles and beliefs — they anchor your decisions to ensure they’re aligned with what you want to create. Having strong values helps your business make decisions and prioritize tasks that support your overall vision.

Values are meant to be relatable; shared human beliefs that compel people to take action. Rather than writing esoteric management terms like “product usability,” you might say “product that improves quality of life” and “customer happiness.”

Use the following questions when writing your values:

  • Which three values are most important for furthering your mission?
  • Why are these values important both to your mission and company as a whole?
  • How can you describe those values in a clear way that everyone understands?
  • How will these values guide daily decisions and tradeoffs?

Remember: your values are what keep your business focused on its target. Defining your values clearly and accurately ensures you don’t stray from your vision.

Methods

No goal can come true without action. Methods are your step-by-step action plan for bringing your vision to life — the specific things that absolutely need to happen. Your methods are all the specific ways in which you will support your vision, and this is where it’s important to think about your partners, employees, and everyone else involved. In addition to thinking about what the company needs to achieve, think about how different departments or employees can support that method.

Here’s what to think about when writing out your methods:

  • What are the most important actions that support your vision?
  • What 5–8 things do you want to accomplish most?
  • How might an employee or partner align with your small business V2MOM?

As you write your actions, be sure to keep them simple and inspiring. Keep in mind that these are actions someone is going to have to take, so they should be achievable. Once you’ve made your list, prioritize the order of methods so that the most important priority is at the top.

Obstacles

No important goal is met without first overcoming obstacles. That’s why it’s important to outline the challenges that stand between you and your visions. When you’ve anticipated every possible obstacle, they won’t come as a surprise to you and your team. Plus, you’ll have a clear idea of how to overcome them so that they don’t throw a wrench in your grand plan.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the biggest things that may prevent you from reaching your vision?
  • What things will make executing your methods difficult?
  • What do you need to be mindful of to overcome your obstacles?
  • What are some specific ways you can overcome each obstacle?

Try to think beyond the most basic obstacles (i.e. money) to create more detailed and specific challenges. This will help you create a more mindful approach to challenge management and deduce solutions that apply to the specific issues at hand.

Measures

Now that you know what you want to do and why, create a framework for evaluating your actions. Measures are all about what results you’d like to see, and how you’ll measure them. If you don’t have a clear goal for what success looks like, how will you know you’ve achieved it? Here’s what to ask when creating measures:

  • What are five specific achievements that will demonstrate you’ve reached your vision?
  • How can you measure the success of these outcomes?
  • Who will measure these outcomes and how often will they be measured?

Additionally, measures should be clearly defined across everyone in the organization. Anyone involved in helping measure methods needs to be trained on what they’re evaluating, and why.

V2MOM for Small Businesses

Now that we’ve covered how small businesses can use V2MOM, it’s time for you to get started! Creating a V2MOM should feel inspiring and actionable, like you’re ready to take on the world. If at any point it feels too overwhelming, you might need to reel back in your vision and choose something more approachable. You can always start small and work towards a more elaborate plan.

At the same time, you want to be striving towards the best version of your business and creating bigger, better goals than ever before. Whether you’re a two-person agency or a shop with 15 employees, V2MOM is one of the most effective ways you can set clear, actionable goals and follow them through.

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