The parroted corporate vision sounds exciting, but as an employee, how will it affect me? This is a common question heard at the water cooler in many companies.
A vision — defined with future-oriented strategy — is a picture of what an organization could and should be. It appears to be far away from what we do on daily basis, but what every employee does daily will help shape the company’s future and help realize this vision.
Vision is not just a “pie in the sky” idiom we hear so often, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to consider and act upon.
Every individual has their own role and responsibility in an organization. Interpretation and application of the vision in your role means you should think about the vision based on where you are and what you are doing right now. This could be the best way to maximize the connection between organizational growth and personal development. By linking the vision to your current responsibility, you will be able to position yourself well in one organization with the right coordinates. This will help the organization be proactively flexible and prepared to meet future changes or trends with the foreseeable risks and opportunities. Just imagine how critical it is for a seaman to know what the new destination of the ship is; and accordingly, think how he should adjust in the new oceanic conditions.
We need to apply the vision as it relates to our own role in the organization – this is a must, but it’s not all that we need to do.
Suppose you were an assembler on a production line. You are good at assembling a screw into the machine but know nothing about the finished goods, let alone its market? To truly embrace the vision, you need to understand the vision in the context of the industry and/or the market perspectives. Meanwhile you need to understand what the vision means to the functions from upstream and downstream markets, since they are the neighbors around you. By doing this, you can be strategic as well as tactical, and not just be “wrapped up” by your daily tasks. When a person sees an extensive landscape of “tomorrow” and the “surroundings,” she is able to perform better in her application of the vision.
Let me conclude by giving a powerful example of vision and the effort required to achieve one’s vision. John F. Kennedy said this about space travel to the moon: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Vision is indeed hard, but it is approachable. When it is well interpreted and applied by everyone, vision will not be vision only, but in the end it will be our collective achievement.