“Vision” has become such a part of business language that I suspect we don’t stop to think about it. Too often, a committee meets somewhere, probably at an offsite, and a vision is constructed, committed to Powerpoints , Posters and tpe company website. Job done.
Vision is complex and dynamic. There’s your vision, my vision, and our vision. There’s no rule saying you’re committed to mine, or me to yours, If it’s ours, it is something that brings all our individual visions into a place to produce something in which we can all see our individual vision as a piece of the jigsaw.
There’s a basic network effect here. In a business of ten people, there are 45 different visions to contend with, or pieces of a jigsaw. In a business of one hundred, just under ten thousand pieces, and in a business of two hundred and fifty, just over sixty two thousand. That’s a big jigsaw.
The reality is, the vision belongs to a very small number of people, and the rest are those who go along with it to differing degrees. Very few can see their own piece of the jigsaw. Maybe that’s why employee engagement is so chronically low. You can buy people’s labour, but not their soul.
In today’s economy, it’s a challenge for most people to have a vision for themselves. Most of us, for most of our working lives, are on a mission to survive. Vision is a luxury.
Yet having a vision is increasingly essential. In times of turbulence, if we don’t have one, how do we know which picture we are part of? Without one, we end up directionless, and that’s no way to spend a life.
Our vision for ourselves has always been important, but never in our lifetimes as important as now. It’s worth spending time on.