A conference room
Prior to your strategic planning activities, which may be ramping up over the next couple of months, it is a good time for development or enhancement of your organization’s shared vision.
A shared vision is the statement that provides the organization and all its component parts with that unifying, directional North Star.
Shared visions are all around us. Recently I had a chance to attend two marriage ceremonies. In each of the ceremonies, the young couple, through their vows, the ceremonial activities and even with the vocal support of the attendees, announced a shared vision for their future.
I would submit that the beginning of every school year is a grand opportunity for shared visions. Look at the faces of the students and their parents and you can see a shared vision for success in the school year — particularly when the student is about to enter college. That moment of entrance is a formal identified shared vision of the eventual graduation and elevating into a new level of societal engagement.
Another category of shared visions, and there are many, is our favorite sports team. Whether your sports team is a local team, professional, college or you have other connections perhaps to fans, our personal engagements is a shared vision for our team’s success. The entire organization — from training to participation, team colors to mascots, songs to the game day experience — is created to support the shared vision of the team’s success.
It is important for an organization to have a shared vision because it is from that shared vision that the strategy and objectives of the organization flow. Additionally, the shared vision offers an opportunity for engagement by the larger support system of the organization. Those elements of the support system include customers, regulators, vendor customers, governmental entities and others who can support that shared vision.
The creation of a shared vision is not easy. From my experience, it takes time, thoughtful consideration engagement by as many members of the organization as possible and the fortitude to recognize when the shared vision is no longer appropriate for an organization. Typically, the development of the shared vision falls upon the shoulders of the executive team and the board of directors, if there is one, and others
An online search will provide you with numerous examples of vision statements. What the online search does not indicate is whether those vision statements are shared by members of the organization and as previously discussed, other members of the support system for the organization. The shared vision usually takes time and a considerable amount of listening.
Listening, for those of you who engage in active listening, know it is hard work. On the level of strategic and shared vision listening it is further complicated by time constraints, energy, resource constraints, conflicting opinions and willingness to compromise.
Although difficult to create, the benefits of a shared vision are considerable. Most notably is your team being able to move forward with a clear understanding that all of the team members and the support structure are engaged in the accomplishment of that shared vision
Cornell Wright is the author of “31 Coffee Breaks to a Better Organization,” an executive coach, trainer and consultant at The Parker Wright Group Inc. in Stratford. The firm strengthens clients’ team development in pursuit of customer service strategies and processes. He is a Certified Partner of Predictive Index. He can be reached at 203-377-4226 or [email protected]
A conference room