Alright…if you’re just joining us and you’re lost, go down about three posts to the beginning of this “series” on Organizational Change and Vision. This post will wrap up the acronym for “vision” and then we’ll move on to “perish.” Lost? Go here…Organizational Change :: Vision .
And…once again, directly quoted from my paper…
Organizations are made up of individuals. These individuals, when led by good leadership and a compelling vision, can make up a team that is far greater together than any one person could be on their own. Building an effort on the unity and oneness of a team will increase the likelihood of long-lasting change within an organization. “With a shared sense of purpose, you can achieve anything” (Bennis, 2002, p. 104).
Before crafting a vision statement, leaders should take great care in determining who on their team might help in writing it. As part of the change effort, the guiding coalition (a hand selected group of formal and informal leaders within the organization) could assist in developing the vision. Even the greatest of leaders should not attempt to write a vision statement without the input and consideration of their team. As Kouzes and Posner explained, “leadership is not a monologue, nor should the creation of a vision statement be done individually and without the active involvement of others” (2006, p. 532)
In order to successfully guide a team of people through change that will last, it is critical to establish a group of individuals who are committed to seeing the new vision become a reality. Leaders must emphasize the need for teamwork, trust and a common goal. At its basic function, a team works together toward one common end. At its core function, vision should unify individuals and “align [them], thus coordinating the actions of motivated people in a remarkably efficient way” (Kotter, 1996, p. 70).
Providing focus, and a determined niche, is a key benefit of a well-written vision statement. Because vision paints a clear picture of where an organization is headed, the statement also helps anyone who reads it understand exactly what can be expected. With this in mind, it must be easy to communicate. Simplicity is essential and people on the team should be able to explain the vision to others, even outsiders, in less than five minutes.
As an example, Give Kids the World Village, located in Kissimmee, provides a very succinct and simple vision statement. Even someone not familiar with the organization can read it and understand the niche they’ve chosen to focus on. It reads, “Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids the World Village for as long as there is a need.” Because the leadership at Give Kids the World has chosen a specific vision, their niche in the marketplace has been defined.
[Bennis, W. (2002). Become a tomorrow leader. In L.C. Spears & M. Lawrence (Ed.) Focus on leadership: Servant leadership for the 21st century (pp. 101-109). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.]
[Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2006). Enlist others. In J. V. Gallos (Ed.) Organizational development a Jossey-Bass reader (pp. 518-539). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.]
[Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.]