By: Gayle Dendinger with Annette Perez Issue: Vision Section: Letter from Publisher A visionary has a dream with a plan. An inspirer brings together diverse groups of people to share the common vision. A gatherer pulls the power of many minds and resources towards a common interest. A coordinator connects people and strategic information. A leader achieves common goals and collective success. A magician achieves unprecedented and remarkable results. I look at vision as goal setting for leadership and business, with a positive impact toward the economic environment. I also believe that vision should be collaboratively shared so that measurable accomplishments can be made. Vision is a subset of the bigger, results-oriented picture. But without a vision, the big picture can perish. We define the big picture by looking back to the past, peripherally in the present, and forward to the future.
Goal Setting and Vision
Wikipedia defines goal setting as, “establishing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-targeted objectives. Goal setting and planning promotes long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses intention, desire, acquisition of knowledge, and helps to organize resources.” Vision is a different task than simply establishing goals. Goals are the end-result of a path that achieves something deeply desired. Vision utilizes past experiences, along with the constant presence of ideals, to establish goals, dreams, and ideas for what the future will be. It helps to direct aspirations. A forward-looking vision cannot be achieved without assessing the big picture, while examining the past and present.
Business is a major driver in our world—it is the decisive factor with respect to the success or failure of any societal goal. Vision cannot be achieved without assessing the big picture, again examining the past and the present. An organization’s ability to remember triumphs, as well as hardships, will help determine which paths to take going forward. Before looking ahead, collaborative teams need to assess the present situation, especially regarding how members of the organization are connected to one another. It is also important to review the resource management system, including resources that have been gathered and what is currently being done with them. These resources, human or non-human, are what keep businesses alive, and as such should be given great attention. This is the point in the process to address any insufficient connections between members or the resource management systems. One must manage at a 360-degree view to get the full vision and ideas that are being addressed in the organization and focuses on all business units to address inefficiencies. When a company is truly connected, the barriers of doing business are eliminated. Success demands total access and expertise.
As a leader, the future must be envisioned, passionately believed in, and people must be inspired to succeed further than they may have ever dreamed conceivable. Leaders look at things from all perspectives and realize that business must keep up with the acceleration of change. The responsibility is on the leader to articulate the vision while making certain the employee comprehends the vision for exciting opportunities and possibilities for the future. As Warren Bennis says, “The leader finds greatness in the group, and he or she helps the member find it in themselves.” Motivation is contagious and seeing people who have this value drives others to want to be part of something greater than themselves. This is the kind of vision that prods us to move mountains if necessary to get things done.
To achieve coordination among many diverse groups, a shared vision of common objectives and methods is vital to becoming connection-minded. Leaders must identify opportunities and share vision and business strategy, both at a company and departmental level. The better the vision is shared, the greater the possibilities for growth, efficiency, and profits. Multiple perspectives driving the vision can develop shared purpose and action.
Strategies are used as a road map for critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving to attain goals for each area. By communicating the goals, each member of the organization can begin to see a different section of the big picture, what the most successful projects and methods were, future potential, etc., while understanding and upholding the organization’s vision.
A shared vision of common objectives and methods is vital. Envisioning what your people, your customers, suppliers and competitors are going through is a critical step to making intelligent decisions when the going gets tough. Look at gurus, industry leaders, customers, suppliers, and partners for new and better ways to do business and develop a game changing strategy.
At ICOSA we wish to create a long-term legacy of success, even in periods of greatest financial weakness by creating a standard for business, government and all Colorado colleges and universities to unleash the collaborative power we have at our disposal. We want to help strengthen our state, even in an economic downturn, collaboratively. Creating broad-based leadership and bolstering vital relationships with state representatives, educators, business partners and customers both intrastate and interstate will be a driver in that goal. And, I believe when we network with people and ideas we can help each other create an education format that integrates these values into a practical learning environment for personal growth in real business. Going forward, we must create new statewide core competencies and options while recognizing windows of opportunity to create excellence or new opportunities, products, or services. I believe that great power will be generated by people who communicate a compelling vision of the future.
The most important emphasis must be on today and the future, while learning from the past. The future does not just happen, we create it. The success of a company, department, or organization depends on the people involved being able to identify what is important, make informed assessments of a situation or opportunity, taking action, and then moving on to the next issue.
I am motivated by a vision of state transformation where everyone is engaged in creating a better civilization. That vision put into action can extend to us great opportunities—opportunities to learn, to earn, and to care for our families—by simply working together systematically and bringing forth our best efforts.
The evolution process of a properly designed infrastructure, filled with proper resources, shared vision, organizational transformation, and sustainable continuity is the responsibility of each organization and crucial to the long-term quality of life on all levels. Vision is the force that transforms endless possibilities into planned action. The time has come to start following your vision, utilizing your infrastructure and your resources, and transforming your theories into action!
Best, - Gayle Dendinger