Today, several organizations, big and small, take about a shared vision and the need for a collective driving force. It is interesting to note, however, that the concept of shared vision as developed by Peter Senge was first studied, theorized, and implemented at schools.
It is quite paradoxical that schools, which are considered temples of learning, are also often plagued by the same organizational issues as their corporate counterparts. Senge came upon something universal.
As with all change, Senge discovered that change happens best in establishments where it isn’t forced upon people. This can be a tricky conundrum to navigate. Across large organizations, leaders find it particularly hard to communicate with everyone in the value chain. As a result, they depend on training and development programs as a means to reach their very wide audience.
Most times, however, these training programs are standardized and have very little scope for change. They drive home individually beneficial attributes but do not always do justice to the specific business case. Everyone goes back having taken something away from the experience, but never enough to accomplish the end goal- that of seeing all of what the business needs, and knowing what each person’s role is in making that happen.
How to separate goals from vision
As counterintuitive as that sounds, a shared vision is simply a blueprint for what is being envisioned. There are bound to be several changes along the way. Adjustments will be made, employees will come and go, the business plan itself may change, but the vision remains constant. To succeed in creating long-term value, leaders must be willing to
The Five Common Elements Of An Organisation With Shared Vision
Broadly, we observe that organizations that have a shared vision, and those that can sustain it for long, practice five universal elements. These are
A leader’s job, then, is not to set daily targets or even annual ones. Instead, it is to build and reinforce these five pillars within their organisation strongly.
Doing so will ensure that you don’t ever need to micromanage. Execution, then, takes on a whole new meaning. You go from enforcing goals to achieve, to applying a vision to follow. That is the approach that will hold your organization in good stead for decades to come.