Have you checked out your Vision document lately? Without Vision, mission outcomes are likely to occur through chance instead of by design. When an organization operates with an outdated, incomplete, or unfocused Vision, it is comparable to gazing at the future through the wrong end of the telescope. Too often, we remain focused on fast-paced, day-to-day operations that cloud intent and distort the big picture, so we lose track of the goal. High performing teams use Vision to achieve clarity of purpose and direction, which are the common threads for advanced planning and decision making. Vision statements are living documents that must be re-calibrated and tuned to align with shifts in the operating environment. The purpose of this post is to describe effective vision statements and illustrate their impacts on organizations.
Effective Vision statements are about sense-making. Vision provides the framework that enables individuals to share understanding about organization goals and expectations, and empowers individual initiative. They allow us to define a trajectory of events that guides a team’s attitudes, governs its behaviors, and shapes outcomes. Vision statements should provide a big picture view that clarifies expectations by highlighting strategy, points out actions, and defines measurable outcomes. Good Vision informs the mission statement; aligns requirements with organizational capabilities; and, is the basis of prioritizing, planning and problem solving.
Vision must outline an organizational perspective which communicates intent and inspires actions to achieve the vision. Because forces within operating environment are constantly adapting, it also makes sense to keep your Vision current. This involves systematically assessing the context of operations, verifying your assumptions and visualizing how to influence predictions and adjust priorities.
Within the Cognitive Performance Group, we rely on a Vision that links our core values to our mission and client expectations. We strive to make the Vision easy to consume and apply, so that we achieve an acceptable of level of common grounding and share understanding of where we are heading as an organization.