DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT ORGANIZATIONAL VISION: HOW AND WHY?
It wouldn’t be amusing if we imagine Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell when the word “legacy” comes up. In fact, these are the people who have revolutionized the world with their inventions. Or some famous actor/actress may come to your mind while talking about legacy. All these amazing people, in their own way, have left a mark on history. Did they copy someone, or did they have a goal, a dream, a vision? Yes, they had a vision!
Every new organization starts with an idea. Behind this idea is a vision of what the organization could be if it had the leadership, adequate funding, structure, and a group of people who believe in the vision. The vision expresses the organization’s mission and why it is necessary for the organization to exist.
What is an Organizational Vision?
The vision of an organization directly correlates with its vision statement. Vision statements are used by all types of organizations, including for-profit businesses, nonprofits, charities, and other groups, to guide them in their important work. They must be clear about the vision’s role in the organization. A vision statement is a written document that describes where an organization is going and what it will look like once there. It describes the company’s purpose, what it strives for, and what it hopes to achieve. A vision statement can be brief or lengthy. Most vision statement writers find the process to be rewarding and inspiring. It allows them to express the characteristics that influence the organization’s strategy.
A vision statement is more than just a thought experiment. It defines a company’s core purpose and makes work more meaningful. One of the primary functions of a vision statement is to attract and engage passionate, like-minded employees. Companies can more easily create an appropriate organizational vision culture centered on the vision statement and work to strengthen the culture. A corporate vision statement clarifies the big picture for everyone, paving the way for better decision-making and targeting the right customers.
Building Blocks of an Organizational Vision
- It is more than a statement – The process of creating a company’s culture is by specifically defining our vision, mission, values and purpose. This will take a lot of thinking, time, effort, creativity from entire team. Ultimately, the purpose is to fine-tune each component. But remember, it’s not the end, it’s just a beginning. There are many organizations that stop at this point. They consider the task completed and spread the word by making murals, screensavers, hang them on the walls. Though it is done with good intentions, however, even murals fade in the hustle-bustle of daily business operations.
- Take the lead – To create a vision that sets a legacy for organizations, the commitment should start from top. The c suite level must be on board with the vision so that the entire team can see the vision in action. Taking the lead in implementing the vision also means that the leadership should show to implement that vision in every task one does. This may sound like spoon feeding but trust us when we say it is vital to show your team how to live those words after all actions speak louder than words. Living those words of vision consistently is important as it helps in building trust.
- Taking it beyond office walls – In addition to setting an example for the internal team by living the vision in every task, it is also recommended that the same is demonstrated with the clients and suppliers. They are the partners of the organization and by following vision with them shall make a great impact on them. Incorporating vision in day-to-day business operation helps in building commitment across teams which further builds the culture as a part of the DNA.
The Future is Here
A well-defined organizational vision, according to Sullivan and Harper 1996, establishes both long-term and short-term goals, empowers and motivates leaders as well as followers in implementing change and strengthening their adaptive mechanisms for staying ahead in the competitive race. The vision must be realistic and achievable, and it must do so with coordinated efforts and support from all levels of management as well as the entire team.
There are several key takeaways to comprehend the significance of a vision statement. It makes no difference whether the statement is short or long. Strategic planning should include vision statements as a key component. Because a company’s vision statement guides all aspects of its operations, boards should take their time developing it. Don’t hide the vision statement once it’s been created.
It takes spilt second for business leaders to involve himself in “running” a business, talk of recipe for disaster. It is critical for leaders to look beyond ledger, P&L statement and balance sheet. This allows them to see how an organization can touch the lives of internal teams, clients, community and even the globe. Therefore, it is important to have these building blocks while designing and implementing vision throughout and beyond your organization’s premises.
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