A new leader can bring a tremendous amount of energy, commitment and vision to your organization. If they have been involved in the sector for a number of years, they may have packed and unpacked this same vision as they traveled from place to place. During their first few days on the new job, they lovingly place their vision on the desk, and give it a gentle pat. It has served them well over the years, and will continue to do so.
A leader’s vision can be a motivating tool for an organization. It can also be a rigid and uncomfortable framework within which the staff must struggle to fit – particularly if the staff does not share that vision. So in order to eliminate conflict, it is important for the leader and the staff to work together to create something that we call a shared vision.
A shared vision begins with the understanding that “vision” is just another word for destination. It is a description of a future organizational status which serves as a focal point. A vision statement does not describe the strategies or actions it will take for the organization to achieve that status. A vision must be big and inspirational – it should be audacious and a little scary. And, a good vision statement should basically describe the purpose of your organization. Disney’s vision? To make people happy. They nailed it.
A shared vision is mutually developed through a process that involves stakeholders, Board members, staff and clients or customers. Normally an organization might use a facilitator to help create the vision. But once consensus is reached, the vision should serve to guide the daily operations of the organization. It is powerful and energizing – and it should be shared on a daily basis.
Can your staff articulate the company’s vision? Can you?
Next blog – Team Learning. Until then, go…learn…change!