I ended Part 1 promising an explanation of a common vision crafted by a technologically-based firm, which was as follows: |
"We are committed to be the worldwide technological leader in providing select products for the benefit of our associates, company, customers, suppliers and community."
Here is a letter written by the company president (the keeper of the vision) to his employees:
"The vision we articulated together represents our shared values, and is intended to align our company goals with our personal goals. The vision is intended to put meaning into our work and provide focus for rewards.
In the spirit of change for the better, I am asking each of you to revisit our vision to determine if it still has meaning. If not, let's build a new one.
WE ARE COMMITTED...our company is based on our peoples' committment to their jobs rather than management's control over our people.
TO BE THE WORLDWIDE TECHNOLOGICAL LEADER...our roots are in developing and manufacturing exciting innovations and breakthroughs.
IN PROVIDING...one goal of our company is to make money, which provides security and rewards for our families.
SELECT, PROFITABLE PRODUCTS...we are focused on those products that are within our expertise and that have market-pull. We are not all things to all people.
FOR THE BENEFIT OF--
OUR ASSOCIATES...in addition to a paycheck we want meaning in our lives--job ownership.
OUR COMPANY...providing our company with a technological edge adds to the value of our products, and assures long-term success.
CUSTOMERS, SUPPLIERS...our partners in enterprise. Our success is entwined with theirs'.
AND COMMUNITY...we live in a great area, and we intend through our success to make it an even better place to live. it is also our intention to "give something back" by supporting community activities.
Please reflect upon our common vision keeping in mind your personal goals and values."
The letter was signed by the president and hand delivered to each employee.
According to James J. Mapes:
"Vision transforms momentary strategies into a way of life. Vision engenders change. Vision is creating an ideal, preferred future with a grand purpose of greatness. It plays a core role in many activities ranging from career choices to family vacations to changing organizations."
Creation of the common vision for a business must start at the top. It requires deep thinking, and self-examination by the leader, but in an unhurried, mellow kind of way. As you (as the leader) formulate your personal vision, it helps to discuss it with close associates to get their views about your vision as well as their own. Along the way, you will find many have similar views about the important aspects of business and personal life--which is probably why you are close to them in the first place. With this small cadre, you can begin to create the vision for the company.
The next step is to collectively write a draft of the vision for distribution to all employees. The distribution should occur in a face-to-face meeting where you can express the logic for having the vision and the thinking that is behind the written words of the rough draft. They should then be challenged to find their own personal vision and see how it fits within the framework. Their feedback is required so the vision can be massaged into its final form. If the result is a lofty statement that hangs on the wall, you have accomplished nothing except maybe create organizational cynicism. If, on the other hand, the words are spoken often and freely during planning meetings, employee get togethers, on the floor, with customers and suppliers; and even during recreation--then you have found it.
Often managers will counter my urgings for vision with an answer that they already have one. They then proceed to show me something called a Mission Statement.
The difference is vast. I'll take that on in Part 3.
Gene Myers http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AfterHours.html
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