Creating a Vision

Building shared vision starts from the position that if any one idea about leadership has inspired organisations for thousands of years, “it is the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create” (Senge, 1990: 9).  Such a vision has the power to be uplifting and to encourage experimentation and innovation. Crucially, it can also foster a sense of the long-term, something that is often missing in organisations.  Every organisation has a “destiny”, a deep purpose, an overarching reason for existence.  Determining the deep purpose is important to move to creative motivation

When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-to-familiar ‘vision statement’), people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to.  They are committed to something greater than themselves.  Unfortunately, many leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that galvanise an organisation.  What has been lacking is a process for translating personal vision into shared vision, a set of principles and guiding practices.

The practice of developing a shared vision involves unearthing shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitment and engagement rather than compliance. In mastering this discipline, leaders learn the counter-productiveness of trying to dictate a vision, no matter how heartfelt. (ibid:9)

Visions spread because of a reinforcing process. Increased clarity, enthusiasm and commitment rub off on others in the organisation. ‘As people talk, the vision grows clearer. As it gets clearer, enthusiasm for its benefits grow’ (ibid:227).  It becomes a positive and virtuous cycle.  Where organisations can transcend linear thinking and grasp systems thinking, there is the possibility of bringing vision to fruition.

Posted in Creating Prefered Future's