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Shared Vision

A vision is a very clear picture of the future you want your organisation to create. There should be two parts to your vision:

  • An external vision that describes the impact you want to make in the world or on the future you want to create for society; and,
  • An internal vision that describes the future you want to create for your organisation.

The external vision should be such that it aligns with a noble cause: a cause that has meaning, which employees can support with a sense of pride. The internal vision should be such that it gives direction to the organisation’s growth, and also supports the external vision.

The internal vision is important for the people in the organisation who are employee focused rather than customer focused: people who work in human resources, leadership development, talent management and other support roles. The internal vision gives them a sense of purpose and direction that aligns with their roles.  

The purpose of the vision statements is threefold:

  • To keep everyone involved in the organisation heading in the same direction
  • To provide guidance to employees on their day-to-day decision-making; and,
  • To set a clear intention that focuses, and directs people’s energies.

The more you keep your vision front and centre in your decision-making the more you will achieve success.
Setting the vision is the job of the leadership team. This task cannot be delegated. The direct reports of the leadership team should be asked for their inputs and comments once the leadership team is comfortable with the vision statements they have produced.

The two vision statements (internal and external) should be:

  • Easily memorable: therefore, short; and
  • Inspirational: therefore, make a positive contribution to society, and a positive contribution to the organisation.

The internal and external visions of my organisation are shown in the following table.

Internal Vision External Vision
To be a global resource for the evolution of consciousness To create a values-driven society

 

The external vision describes our contribution to society—“to create a values-driven society.” The internal vision describes what fulfilment looks like for the organisation—by becoming “a global resource for the evolution of consciousness.” The internal vision also states how we are going to support the external vision—we will create a “values-driven society” by becoming “a global resource for the evolution of consciousness.” 

I have supported many leadership teams in creating a vision statement for their organisations. When I use the Four Why’s process described in Chapter 6 of Liberating the Corporate Soul. The task of creating these vision statements never takes more than two days. There is always a moment near the end of vision building workshop when everyone knows they have found the vision they can align with. The energy in the room suddenly shifts into excitement as people coalesce around the statements that resonate with their souls.

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