Superb Organizations and the Power of
Vision Manifested

by Marie Kane

A Superb Organization is a winning, healthy organization that:

  • Outperforms the competition;
  • Makes optimum use of its resources;
  • Survives and prospers in the face of change and challenge;
  • Manages growth successfully.

Superb Organizations perform better in the present and simultaneously build a solid foundation for their future. They are effective, successful, balanced and fulfilled. All of the elements of “The Superb Organization” are interdependent, and must be successfully addressed.

Leadership is essential, for without it the organization founders and drifts aimlessly or in directions that do not serve it well. Leadership provides the passion, vision, and psychological glue that hold the organization together and fuel its efforts. Management carries out the mission, holds the organization accountable and helps to ensure participation and commitment by all members of the organization. A strategic plan provides strategic focus and direction, defines and maintains competitive advantage, motivates the company, and provides the context for operational plans. Operational plans are necessary to accomplish results day-to-day, bring into action your strategic intent, and address the basics necessary for continuing operational success. Resource and financial plans are necessary to ensure survival and to have the building blocks necessary to create a successful and prosperous organization.

The interaction of leadership with a planning process creates vision. Passionate leadership consistently articulating the vision, coupled with management showing its use as a context for daily decision-making creates motivation. An environment is created in which everyone in the organization can connect in a meaningful way with the company’s vision. Vision becomes real and relevant – a shared motivating force. Finally, having a clear plan coupled with its use by management to set expectations that are in the context of the vision, as well as the long and short term goals of the company, provides the mechanism for positive accountability.

Vision + Motivation + Accountability = Vision Manifested

This is Vision that informs the actions of the company every day as it moves consciously towards the vision. It creates energy and synergy in the organization as a function of the journey whether or not the organization ever fully reaches that vision. In fact, some visions are purposefully so lofty that they can only be striven for, but never reached.

Human beings instinctively, and often unconsciously, search for meaning. An accessible, shared vision is a powerful contribution to meaning at work. Very little is more powerful than a shared vision made manifest and collaboratively acknowledged.

Tip of the Month

Communicate your vision powerfully and consistently. Create a visual that represents your vision or a metaphor that describes it. Tell stories about great steps taken towards it. Use these freely and often when presenting or discussing your vision. People relate to and remember pictures and stories or examples better than just words. In daily or strategic decision-making, when vision is used as context, tell people that is what you are doing, why and how it fits in. There is no such thing as over-communicating your Vision!

Tool of the Month

Test how well known and understood the Vision of your organization is. Choose 5 people from different areas of expertise and length of time with the company and ask them separately what their understanding of the Vision of the organization is. If they can name it, ask them what it means to them and does it affect how they do their job. If they can’t name it and the organization has a formal vision, tell them what it is and ask if knowing it would affect how they do their job. Then ask each of them what their impression is of where the organization is in relation to that Vision. This will take you about 45 minutes total and will be very revealing for you about your Vision.


Marie Kane is President of Executive Evolution. Since 1981 Marie has provided executive consulting and coaching services to help clients develop and implement the right strategy, leverage the company's human talent, and create optimal culture and communication. Her services include leadership, executive, management and team development, strategic and operational planning, employee selection, retention and development, change management, conflict resolution and a variety of profiles and assessments, including 360’s. She is the author of the TEAMS assessment and creator of “The Leaders Way - Discovering the Inner Art of Leadership” program. You can reach Marie at 770-461-3820 or Marie@ExecutiveEvolution.com. Visit http://www.executiveevolution.com/ for additional insight.

Many more articles in Creative Leadership in The CEO Refresher Archives

   


Copyright 2005 by Marie Kane. All rights reserved.

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