Defining and overview of a vision
New years eve is few weeks old. Some of us made a decision to start a diet, do more sport, learn a new language and so much more but most of us often fail. We have a vision for a better future. It is a constatation I made in my life and of people and companies around me. We wish ourselves the best but we often miss asking ourselves these important question: Why are we doing all this? Why did we start a project?
Each leader, employee and organization have different motivation.To sum up the idea, a company vision is the goal you have before starting a journey. It is inaccessible today and you (the Leader, Employee, and Organization–LEO, for short) are looking for ways to achieve your destination. Having an LEO vision is a journey. A vision starts with the decision to leave a current state that does not correspond anymore to the desired state.
The importance of having a vision
Most of us are unclear about our vision though it doesn’t mean we do not have one.
A person could be living a life presented by someone else’s vision. Technological revolutions or social changes come from people who have a different vision of what life could be and then took actions.
A vision always starts from an individual. A person desires to achieve something that is important for him/her. The reasons for this decision to go on a journey come from personal motivation. How come we end up with a company from just one personal vision?
This is when things get very interesting. The person who has a vision and is able to share it with his peers can motivate them to go on a journey; he or she is what we call a leader. Think of Steve Jobs who started a company with a few friends in his garage. Even if he had a bad temperament people followed him because the way he was possessed by his vision awakened something in them.
The people who follow the leader are obviously the followers. When people follow a leader they organize themselves to form an organization. With this definition, we could simply say that organizations are everywhere and it will be true. A company specifically aims for profit, without profit, the company disappears.
This, in theory, is beautiful and easy to follow. In reality, employees join companies to earn money. Their time and work they contributed in a company has a specific value and is monetized. They sell their time and skills for a paycheck. This is not very glamorous, which could explain the low employee engagement seen in most countries. In the worst cases, the employees may endure harassment, burnout or even end up killing themselves. Companies are in a very unhappy state because their vision of success is deformed. We know it but we, as the LEO, often believe that it is the only way. We lack a vision for a better tomorrow that respect each leader, employee and organization.
A common vision shared
There is another possibility that I want to explore with you. A new vision that is enabled by the digital transformation in the industry.
“A future where each one of us takes direct responsibility to improve the world and where life is more important than profit.”
Most of us want a better world but we do not know how to get there because not everyone can or want to be a leader.
What if leaders and employees working in an organization share a common vision?
How is it possible for leaders and employees to have a common vision? When the leader considers his followers as equals. He is not looking for subordinates. He or she is looking for people with complementary skills and knowledge. People who are different from him and have a different point of view and willing to work or reach his vision. He is looking for mitmacher, a german term to name a person participating actively.
This kind of companies are freed from hierarchy, the silos and the power games that come with it. Employees are enabled to act and the collective intelligence amplifies the impact of each individual. Those companies reinforce the internal connection.
The vision exists at the leader, the mitmacher, and the organizational level. The leader’s vision spreads to the mitmacher that amplify it and transform it into a wave (the organization). The organization has a greater capacity of creation than the sum of its parts.
How do you know that people share a common vision?
It is possible to evaluate if someone shares a common vision thanks to discussion. At the beginning of the organization formation, the leader himself must ensure that he filters the right mitmacher. Once the organization is too big for the leader to select the new , he must enable other mitmacher to filter the newbees.
In the business context, it is easy to imagine a series of questions and tests to identify people with a similar vision. Many big corporation do it through their test centers. The question is how can you do it in your organization.
Once your vision is clear you can define your mission and related values. We will explore that in the next blog. See you then. In the meantime, do not hesitate to comment, share and love this post!