Saturday, February 19, 2011

How Clear is Your Vision?

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others"
Jonathan Swift

One of the cornerstones in propelling organizations forward is having a "Clearly Defined/Articulated Vision".  This is referenced in journal articles and in any Leadership 101 course.  Leaders that successfully transform organizations repeatedly cite the importance of a clear vision.  With the research being so clear I ask the following question:

How Clear is Your Vision?

If you aren't sure, I'll give you some indicators to go by.  
  • Can you articulate the vision of your organization in a way that anybody walking in would understand the work that you are doing?  
  • Can you do it in less than 3 minutes?  
  • Can you do it in 1 sentence?
  • More importantly, can other people in your organization clearly articulate the vision?
  • Is the vision reflected in the decisions you make as a leader?

Here are some ideas about how to create a clear vision just in case you answered no to any of the indicators above.
  • Project forward 3-5 years and imagine your ideal organization.
  • What does it look like? 
  • What steps can you take today to turn your vision into your reality?
  • Involve key stakeholders in the process of developing a collective vision.
  • Deliberately tie every decision and action back to the vision of the organization.

Vision is critical to a leader's success.  Communicating your vision does not always come down to the words you speak.  You should strive to get to the point that your actions speak so loudly that you no longer need to say anything...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brian,

    I find this a very timely post. In the Delta School District we are presently in the midst of a District Visioning Process that is involving all of the stakeholders in our educational community. In a recent post I described a little bit about the process we're conducting at our school to contribute to the district process. Creating and articulating a vision is so important for everyone who belongs to a school community. The process of visioning brings people together and reminds everyone that we have similar goals for all of our students. It also unites people around a common purpose. Having a sense of coherence about where a district and school are headed provides a compass for decision-making at all levels.

    Thanks for the post!