If you are an individual wresting with career challenges or transition, or if your organization is facing the question “What’s next?”, a vital first step in taking yourself or your business to the next level, is to embark on a process of visioning. It can be as simple or complex as you like, but it is a great way to expand your thinking, to open up possibilities and to create something to work toward as you chart your future.
Creating a Vision is great if:
- Things are going well, and you wish to tap the momentum and energy to ensure they continue to do so, and to dream about how they could be even better
- Things are so-so, and you would like to refresh or solidify the path you are on, or push even further
- Things have reached an impasse, you feel stuck and know you need to do something differently, but are not quite sure what, or if you want to break a cycle of underachievement and underperformance.
For a Team or Organization, the advantages of Having a Vision are:
- It helps to unify people and align them around a common purpose
- It anchors people in times of stress, change or uncertainty, and serves as a guiding beacon when things are unclear
- It brings to the surface unrealized potential, unexpressed dreams, untapped needs, and unexplored possibilities
- It is a starting point for change; from your vision, flows your mission, strategy and goals. It enables you to create workable action plans to get you from your current circumstances to a state you desire
- It is based in inspiration, passion and creativity, and so can kick-start a person or an organization out of the same old patterns, habits and ways of doing things into a whole new state of mind
- It can spur people to go further and to embark on a course of action that feels exciting and engaging
- It involves stretch and challenges you to achieve far more than you would without it.
Call to Action:
As an individual leader, do you have a personal vision for your leadership or your career?
As a leadership team, have you crafted a vision that can serve as a blueprint for your organization?
Next time, I’ll share my approach to designing a visioning process.
I truly believe in “Crossing Boundaries to Create Opportunity”, but I guess I am just not an early adopter or enthusiastic convert when it comes to social media. I am trying, though, and wonder how it’s going for you? This question is obviously only for those of you who are over a certain age – you know who you are.
The other day, I attended a workshop to help small businesses understand how to leverage social media. There was an almost comical clash of cultures when SCORE (Society of Retired Executives) teamed up with Constant Contact (an email marketing firm) for this purpose. You could spot the “tribes” as soon as you walked into the room. The twenty or thirty somethings, in casual clothes, sporting iPads, were keen as mustard to get us switched onto tweeting, posting, liking, pinning and linking, while the silver haired gentlemen with kindly faces and shuffling gait were happy to share their hard-won, if sometimes dated, experience. Read more
If ever there was a glorious place to be last weekend, it was brilliant, sunny Pittsburgh, at the graduation ceremony of Carnegie Mellon University. In the week that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook as a $115bn company, the School of Computer Science launched some 250 global young people into the workplace. As the Dean of the school put it, “If there is a recession out there, nobody’s told us about it. Our students have been sought after by companies large and small for their problem solving and computing skills.” Certainly, the fields that have emerged: Human-Computer Interaction, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Software Research, Language Technologies, Machine Learning and Robotics, are the way of the future. Liberal Arts and Business graduates, take note. How is it that you can add value in this environment?
Is Innovation in Your DNA?
Are you one of those people who get excited by new ways of doing things? Or do you get frightened and prefer to stick with the tried and true? Does your organization constantly try to look around corners and change things pre-emptively, in anticipation of shifts in market needs or customers’ behavior? Or does it instinctively fall back on the safety and security of formulas, policies and procedures that have been known to work in the past?
Why does innovation matter?
Well, for one thing, it taps into a deep human need for creativity, invention, and self-expression, and it reflects human adaptability and the age-old desire for people to adventure into the unknown.