It is so easy for an organisation to busy itself with daily activities that it can become oblivious to its future, without reflecting or envisaging what can happen, without a vision or a sense of direction. Your organisation may be active in the short term; but, without a vision of the future, it will lose direction, purpose, and control – those essential ingredients for success in the long term. Here is one way of articulating for your organisation a vision linking values, purpose, and mission…

Having a strong vision within your organisation is important. With training from Global Training Institute, be equipped to articulate your organisation's vision

1. Get ‘vision’ in context.

Visionary organisations have two distinct, stand-out features – an enduring character that transcends all other things like products, bosses, management fads, and technological breakthroughs; and visible, vivid, real futures as yet unrealised. Vision helps to bring those two features to life. In ‘Leaders’, Warren Bennis and Bert Nanus defined an organisational vision as:

‘A mental image of a possible and desirable state of the organisation – a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organisation, a condition that is better in some important ways than what now exists.’

Watch Joseph Lekuton’s testimony of how vision has helped him achieve much within his nation of Kenya.

2. Understand the contributing factors.

In ‘Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies’, James Collins and Jerry Porras identified three components that contribute to the articulation of a vision:

  • The core values – the 3 to 5 guiding principles important to those in the organisation.
  • The core purpose – the organisation’s reason for being, its raison d’être.
  • A desired future (or mission) – a clear, compelling, unifying and enduring statement that you believe distinguishes your organisation from others, a catalyst for team spirit.

By reflecting on these three areas, you will be well on the way to articulating your organisation’s vision; that is, a vibrant, energising, and specific description of what it will be like to achieve your mission.

3. Isolate core values.

Only a few values can be considered as ‘core’ – those that define what you stand for – and are likely to be meaningful and inspirational only to those in the organisation. Ask a small selection of highly credible representatives from groups within your organisation such questions as these:

  • If you were to start a new organisation in a different line of work, what core values would you build into the business regardless of the industry?
  • If you won the lottery and decided to retire, what core values, held in our organisation, would you continue to live by?
  • What would you tell your children are the core values that you hold at work and that you hope they will hold when they are working adults?

4. Identify core purpose.

Core purpose captures the soul of the organisation – why it exists. Though the purpose does not change, it inspires change. Walt Disney’s core purpose, for example, is ‘To make people happy’. 3M’s is ‘To solve unsolved problems innovatively’. Core purpose differs from a goal because purposes will never be totally fulfilled.

One way of identifying purpose is to ask selected, individual representatives what activity they are engaged in. To their response you ask, ‘Why?’ To their next response ask, ‘Why?’ After the fifth ‘Why?’ – the approach is called ‘The five whys’ – you are close to identifying the core purpose.

5. Picture a desired future – your mission.

This picture of the future serves as a unifying focal point of effort and acts as a catalyst for team spirit and inspiration. Though the mission needs to be visible, vivid, and real, it communicates unrealised dreams, hopes, and aspirations. The mission needs to stimulate and encourage forward momentum.

To arrive at this picture, you might ask your organisation’s represent-atives: ‘Imagine sitting here in twenty years time. What would we love to see? What should our organisation look like? If someone were to write an article for a major business magazine in twenty years, what would it say?’ Would the picture painted raise a goose bump or two, and cries of ‘aha!’?

6. Now articulate your vision.

Now is the time to paint a larger picture with words by bringing together all your reflections about core values, purpose, and the desired future, to create the vision – the big picture. As it describes what it will be like to achieve the mission, the description should attempt to be vibrant and energising, and capable of arousing passion and emotion.

Sony is a good example of a company with a clear vision that inspired the organisation over the decades that followed. In the 1950s, its vision read: ‘Fifty years from now, our brand name will be as well known as any in the world, and will signify innovation and quality that rivals the most innovative companies anywhere. ‘Made in Japan’ will mean something fine, not something shoddy’.

Will your vision inspire such achievement?

At Global Training Institute we value high quality training that is set to the Australia Qualifications Framework standards. If you are looking for quality online training in the areas of ManagementBusinessProject ManagementLeadershipCivil ConstructionMining or Corporate Governance, please feel free to contact us on 1800 998 500 or email us at [email protected]