Posted by: geoffpedit | February 21, 2010

Vision or Blindness?

So many companies just stumble along, with no direction from the top.
“Where there is no vision the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) or
“When people do not see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves … (The Message)
The quote is out of context because its context is the Old Testament, and the relationship between God and the Jews.
There is so much hype, with millions of books, about leadership, that the need for vision is lost. Leadership without vision goes nowhere.
Vision is substituted by fancy slogans, which usually mean nothing, many of which we have learned to associate with brands, for example:
— “Just do it!”
— “Cell C for yourself,” having had conflict with them recently, I know it is a lie.
In other cases the vision is so verbose and lengthy — and therefore arcane — that few people can relate to it. It is worse than having nothing at all. An example is:
Our vision is to achieve a shared vision and practice of the ministry of all believers. This means that every parishioner takes responsibility to contribute to the life of the faith community and be a witness in the broader community. This requires the spiritual growth of all believers, a deepening relationship with God, others, oneself and creation.

The spiritual growth and ministry of all believers is dependent on vibrant Christian community in which :
— all are welcome to belong and participate;
— the active participation of young people and children is valued and encouraged;
— worship is dynamic and includes the whole worshipping community;
— healing and reconciliation are a visible reality;
— the humanity of each member grows in relation with others;
— dynamic small groups build up the individual into community;
— the love of Christ is experienced, made visible, and given to the world.
Our prayer is that this vision has been faithfully received from God. As we have received it faithfully, may we live it faithfully, that it may be a blessing to us and through us to our world.
— and that is just a summarised version of the complete vision statement.
It is important that a vision statement can only achieve anything if, on it are built:
Goals (with measurable targets and deadlines)
Plans — to achieve the goals — and identifying the persons / teams responsible for making them work, through projects. Again, with deadlines and deliverables.
Budgets — the financial implications of the plan.
I offer a service to companies to facilitate a vision-planning workshop on your premises — see http://www.qei-growth.co.za/qei-edit.html. Why get someone from outside to come in and do this? Several reasons:
I am outside the organisation, so have no ‘private agenda’ — which an employee (even an executive) would have. This also means that I will not be aware of any ‘holy cows’ or ‘forbidden territory’ that and employee would avoid carefully. I would ask that nobody tries to impose their hidden agenda — or protect their holy cows, so that the best possible vision statement is developed, which will effectively communicate within the company — and outside the company — that you are going somewhere meaningful.
A typical workshop takes most of a day (9am to 4pm — with a lunch and tea breaks). I would require:
A group of senior executives and managers — ideally not bigger than 12 or 15 people.
A suitable venue, ideally with people seated at chairs round a board-room type table.
A secretary who can record, on computer as we go, all the suggestions made along the way, and the final vision statement.
A large white-board, with several colours of whiteboard pens, and a duster.
We would start by brainstorming ideas and writing them on flip-chart paper, and then sticking those around the room — so they can be referenced and visible to all when refining them into a vision statement.
Two flip-chart stands with paper and pens — and Prestik to stick paper to walls.
There would be certain ground-rules — which I would explain as we started the session.

Contact Geoff on 0744320361 or geoffp@qei-growth.co.za

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