Implementing Flow using Cascading Vision

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While many organizations believe that they can cascade their vision to each level (although it gets very diluted very quickly), most have not mastered the art of linking each vision back to the next level up.

This is the fifth in a series of posts on Implementing Flow and today we’re looking at the power of Cascading Vision:

You use Cascading Vision to clearly communicate and link back every (individual, team, project, product, program, portfolio, etc.) vision in the organization to the main Vision for the organization.

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Cascading Vision

This is Tile 5, Cascading Vision (see end of the post for a picture with all eighteen mindset tiles that we use in Flow):

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There are teach-backs on Cascading Vision with Glen Liguori, FCT and Jay Keller, FCT (click links to see the teach-backs on this topic). Also, I have shared in other posts, VSPT, the One Thing, and BHAGs and those are here:

Vision, VSPT, and the One Thing are all cascaded to each team and individual. Without exception, few organizations have mastered the art of linking each Vision back to the previous level. Without an explicit link-bank to the next level up, there is no way an organization can hope to counter the dilution and negative friction that is created due to that.

Why Cascade your Vision anyways?

If you don’t understand why Vision is requisite to success, then I would suggest reading the previous posts on this topic. Simon Sinek’s suggestion to rename the CEO to CVO (Chief Vision Officer) is a splendid example of why Vision comes first (then you can start with Why after that):


As I shared in the previous post, it is stunning that so few people in leadership seem to understand the power of Vision, let alone how to use it to help your teams achieve higher levels of performance.

Without a clearly defined Vision, it is next to impossible to have the tough conversations that need to happen to move the organization forward.

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As I mentioned above, it’s intriguing that most organizations don’t realize how diluted the message gets. What’s clear and self-evident to the leadership team can be completely lost by the time it gets to the team or individual level. Here’s an example of only a 20% signal loss between levels:

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In the image above, even if you are good (or think that you are) at communicating throughout the organization and only lose 20% per level (80% of the message gets through to the next level), by the time you’re to the team level you’ve already lost two-thirds (67%) of the original message; and, by the individual level you’ve lost up to 74% of the message (with only 26% making it through).
Thus, it is no wonder that 86% of traditional projects FAIL to deliver 80% of the value, on-time, and on-budget.

For a full description of how Dilution impacts your message, this post goes into that in more depth.

A picture says a thousand words!

Be prepared, since most organizations are unwilling to do the demanding work that Cascading Vision requires. If the executives aren’t prepared to communicate their Vision ten times more than they are currently doing, then it’s going to be an ugly, uphill battle.

And, if that is your situation, then this humorous picture that has circulated for decades on the net (in various forms and iterations) demonstrates the negative application of “cascading” in your organization:


Without sharing the joke that goes with this picture, you get the idea.

The 18 Tiles

The fifth tile, Cascading Vision, as shared above is the fifth of eighteen areas on which we focus in the Flow Leadership Framework and Mindset. In subsequent posts I will be walking you through how to implement the remaining tiles to deliver outstanding and remarkable results, every day.

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Five down, thirteen to go!

Focus Led Organizations Win!

Flow is methodology agnostic and will deliver consistent, remarkable results regardless of what’s being used at the individual, team, and product levels in an organization. That’s been proven over-and-over again during the past 27 years on assignments in Europe, North America, and Asia.

So, why is it that you aren’t using Flow yet?

Let’s chat!


For those that are not familiar with the Flow Leadership Framework & Mindset, it is what’s next for businesses and organizations that are ready to succeed regardless of the methods, frameworks, mindsets, or management tools that they use throughout their enterprise. Flow is methodology agnostic.

Are you ‘in the zone’ of optimal performance right now as a person, team, or enterprise? Did you get there by accident or by focused intentional acts?

“Flow” gives you the way of working and mindset needed to create and maintain an optimal state of high performance as an individual, team, or organization.

The Flow Leadership Framework turbocharges everything you do, including “business agile” leadership and Scaled Agile.


PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

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