Hope is the vision for a better future. It is central to a belief that our families and businesses can be healthier, that our lives can be more fulfilled, that there is a more engaging and satisfying future than anything we have experienced to date. After all, hope is the essential ingredient that drives our annual cavalcade of New Year’s resolutions detailing how we will be better versions of ourselves in the next year.
At North Group, one of our core values is Instilling Hope. We must have hope. Otherwise, the future can seem tedious at best, or despondently bleak at worst. Hope is a big piece in the puzzle of a new launch of a product, business, or initiative. While hope may be a keystone piece in the puzzle for an imagined and attainable future, it is only a piece.
Hope is a future. Hope shapes vision. Hope is NOT a strategy.
Have you ever sat around a table with your team or family, ready to launch into a new direction where the moment of decision is followed by the nagging question, “will this work?” and the answer is “I hope so?” That question is much easier to process when you have done your homework and asked some tough questions. Maybe you’ve even solicited the opinion of an individual that can always see where an idea is vulnerable. Yes, those folks can be annoying, but they are also a gift.
Too many nonprofits and more than a few businesses create a preferred future and launch, only to find out their strategy was “I sure hope this works” without having done the work of serious assessment. Seeking third party, objective opinions on major decisions is not a weakness; it is a strength. It often has nothing to do with the ability of leadership teams. Even the strongest organizations can benefit by considering the views of objective and trusted advisors. These perspectives often help inform the path forward.
Be hopeful for the future, but if hope is ultimately your strategy, you may want to consider a more-informed approach.