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Vision is an achievement or a future state which a business wants to accomplish. The task of developing and articulating a vision is to inspire, clarify and focus the work. In simple words, a vision is a picture which shows what an organisation could and should be. Some of the characteristics of vision are: it should be understood, must be motivational, credible, demanding and challenging. After understanding what a vision is, the next step is to identify and articulate a vision. A vision gets life when the leader tells a good story. It creates trust and captures hearts and minds. It is also important to communicate the vision in a very clear and a brief way. Thus, perfection should be in “elevator speech”. There should be multiple forms of media to communicate and make the people understand the vision. The leaders have one- on- one conversation with the people. This gives them opportunities to transmit information, receive feedback and create energy around the vision (Baum et al. 1998). The central role of a leader is to share the vision. Thus, dreaming big is the first step to create a vision of an organisation. The leaders generally include big and great ideas in their vision and those big ideas attract people (Frese et al. 2003). It was a “South Africa without Apartheid" for Nelson Mandela. It was a “United States in which women had the right to vote” for Susan B. Anthony. It was a “Poland run by workers and common people” for Lech Walesa. Thus, every leader has had a vision.
The significance of a vision and vision communication is that it helps to attract people to an organisation. The vision motivates the people to take action towards progress and accelerate business results. The people will not follow the leader until they know what direction he is headed in. Vision should be such that it touches a chord with many people. If the vision is communicated well, people will join the leader to reach the goal of the organisation. The major work of a leader is to generate commitment towards the vision of the organisation. The vision has to be communicated in such a manner by the leader that it matters to people. The vision has to be used in such a manner that it inspires and mobilizes people and others also want to join and make the vision into reality. The people in the organisation should believe in the vision and also pass it on to others (Clutterbuck and Hirst 2002). Great leaders work hard to articulate their thoughts and they know how to paint a vivid picture of the future. There are basically four steps to developing a visionary statement. This creative process involves: observing, reflecting, writing and speaking.
The vision of some of the reputed companies which help them to reach heights are:
Microsoft: “A computer on every desk and in every home.”
Teach for America: “One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”
LinkedIn: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
In the dynamic environment if the vision is not flexible enough, it could lead to problems. There are cases where creating a vision, contrasting ideas and personal reflections gets in the way, that is, vision can get intertwined with the leader's persona. Leaders do not focus on the day to day operation of the business as great emphasis is given to the future. There is a possibility that the leader can get fixation on the vision- ‘tunnel vision'. It should be clear that both the vision and end benefits could be possibly change and evolve during the project lifecycle. It is just a beginning and should not be considered as the ultimate goal to be achieved (Stam et al. 2014). There are instances where after creating the vision there is no follow through. This loses the momentum of the team. Therefore, this concept does have weaknesses too. This concept also have linkage with the other important concepts in management like planning and leading. All these similar concepts aim to achieve the goals of the organisation.
Vision and vision communication as a management concept is described by Daniel Goelman in 2020. It has several strengths but there are several weaknesses too. The visionary leader takes charge and inspire the team members by creating vision. The objective is to achieve the overarching goal of the organisation. However, the leader should be cautious while using this concept as this can lead to neglecting the finer details. Moreover, follow through is a must to accomplish the goals.
Baum, J.R., Locke, E.A. and Kirkpatrick, S.A., 1998. A longitudinal study of the relation of vision and vision communication to venture growth in entrepreneurial firms. Journal of applied psychology, 83(1), p.43.
Clutterbuck, D. and Hirst, S., 2002. Leadership communication: A status report. Journal of communication Management, 6(4), pp.351-354.
Frese, M., Beimel, S. and Schoenborn, S., 2003. Action training for charismatic leadership: Two evaluations of studies of a commercial training module on inspirational communication of a vision. Personnel Psychology, 56(3), pp.671-698.
Stam, D., Lord, R.G., Knippenberg, D.V. and Wisse, B., 2014. An image of who we might become: Vision communication, possible selves, and vision pursuit. Organization Science, 25(4), pp.1172-1194.
Wilson, I., 1992. Realizing the power of strategic vision. Long range planning, 25(5), pp.18-28.
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