I recently came across a very interesting ‘Discussion point’ posted in the ‘HR Professionals Group’ in LinkedIn. “How to do a Visioning Exercise?” By Mr Ganesan Nagaraj, Sr Manager of Vestas India.
Some excellent replies were posted. My own comments were – “the power of vision is what energizes an organization and its people. In a ‘Visioning Exercise” we have to inspire the owner-founder to search his/her soul and come with what are their true core values. The vision that emerges from the values and beliefs has to be communicated with simplicity and humility to all the people in the organization. They must relate to the vision meaningfully. Such a vision I believe will power a sustainable strategy”.
A value based vision can make the impossible into possible: The AIT
I have personally experienced the ‘Power of Vision’ as I was fortunate to be directly involved in the implementation of few highly inspiring visions of great leaders.
One among them was Gen. B.C. Joshi, PVSM AVSM, ADC the then Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army. The Army Institute of Technology (An Institute par excellence) came into being because of Gen Bipin Joshi’s dream and firm belief that the children of all ranks of the Army needed an institute of excellence.
This would meet the aspirations of the soldiers who serve under difficult conditions in the forward areas where educational facilities are not available and the education of children suffers.
Most people believed this was one project that may not ever become a reality because of a ‘Supreme Court Judgment’ that laid down an exclusive and privately funded professional institute is not permitted. AIT was just not possible but for the leaders vision and it’s inspiring power. There was no one – high or low in the hierarchy (with a few exceptions who acted as our mentors) nor the AICTE, Pune University, State Govt. who said AIT project will come thru’. The AIT project team comprising my two officers and a handful of staff believed ‘It Will’. The contribution of the learned honorary counsel Mr KK Venugopal Sr Advocate of the Supreme Court who believed in the noble cause appeared was exemplary. The AIT empowered by the vision received the clearance of the Honorable Supreme Court and founded in August 1994 .
The Institute was completed in record time and inaugurated by Gen S. Roy Chaudhary PVSM, ADC on 24th Feb, 1995.
The singular contribution of the wonderful people who made the ‘impossible into possible’ will be honored in a separate post.
The AIT graduates today true to their motto “Onward to glory” are much sought after by some of the best MNCs and institutions worldwide. The AIT logo was a creative effort of the First and Second batch of young minds and my dedicated project team comprising Col OP Kalra and Col SP Bawa.
A few corporate examples of inspiring visions further strengthen the essence of a powerful vision being rooted in ‘deep values’ as can be seen below:
(a) “Vision Is Futuristic: To choose a direction, an executive must have developed a mental image of the possible and desirable future state of the organization. This image, which we call a vision, may be as vague as a dream or as precise as a goal or a mission statement.”
By Prof. Warren Bennis an American scholar, organizational consultant and author, widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of leadership studies.
(b) “Every organization has a destiny: a deep purpose that expresses the organization’s reason for existence. Visions exist on different levels of the organization’s identity”. Peter Senge, an engineer by training, perhaps best known for his 1990 book,
The Fifth Discipline, which introduced the idea of the “learning organization”. A professor at the MIT’s Sloan School of Management and founder of the Society for Organizational learning (SoL), has called for collaboration among business and non-business organizations to solve the problem of Global Warming which is the most daunting environmental problem of our time.
(c) “In full awareness of our responsibilities as manufacturer, we will devote ourselves to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people, thereby contributing to the growth of human civilization”.
Konosuke Matsushita began the journey in 1918 by inventing a two-way light socket. Profound in its import yet elegantly simple, Konosuke’s breakthrough led to what is now one of the world’s largest electronics companies. As he built Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., he never lost sight of the importance of putting the needs of his customers and the public first. Matsushita had a strong commitment to the spiritual, as well as the material well-being, of his employees. His leadership style earned him the title “god of management”.
Therefore when a vision is based on business philosophy of the founder leader, values and aspirations of the people it becomes futuristic, farsighted and long-term. The strategies also become sustainable and need tot be changed often.
Please offer your own views, questions or share your experience on ‘organizational vision’. You will enrich this post. Cheers.