The strategic process, vision, mission & implementation
7 December 2022
Vision, mission, strategy and implementation are by definition concepts that belong to the idea of a ‘programmable, predictable’ future. The only question is whether that makes sense if a look into the future only produces a thick fog of ambiguity.
This post is mainly about two issues :
For both issues we try to answer the following questions :
Current Practices ?
These practices can be found in most organizations :
What stands out in this way of strategizing :
What is the ‘theory in use’ here ?
The cues pointing to the ‘control & containment’ paradigm are quite clear :
And what is the impact ?
The consequences of this theory in use are quite fundamental and affect the organization in its ability to develop sustainably. A few specific elements:
Dominant ideas on HR websites ?
A vision statement is a company’s road map, indicating what the company wants to become by setting a defined direction for the company’s growth. Vision statements undergo minimal revisions during the life of a business, unlike operational goals which may be updated from year-to-year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_statement
Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you: (1) Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years. (2) Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business. (3) Ensure the statement is easily understood. https://www.lifehack.org
What could you do differently?
Alternatives split in three categories :
You can see below how this generative approach contrasts with the control paradigm.
Than the situation would be dramatically different :
In the seventies / eighties of the last century, people thought very divisive about ‘growth’. The economic stakeholders thought in terms of ‘more’, we have to make a profit, provide employment, etc … The ecological stakeholders only talked about ‘less’ in order to protect the environment (labeled as treehuggers and wackos by their opponents).
It was only when the Brundtland report in 1987 launched the term “Sustainable Development” (and that was a generative image) that both parties started to think differently and realized that they were not ‘enemies’ but that they needed to reconcile their objectives in order to reach their objectives, because the one could not do that without the other.
And if you have that umbrella of ‘sustainable development’, as that ‘shared ambition’, then all those stakeholders can start doing very different things based on their expertise and their passion. Very different things but nevertheless connected by that ‘generative image’. And so the engineer who develops a home battery to store solar energy for families to use during winter and the volunteer who helps toads cross the highway to protect and develop biodiversity suddenly have something very important in common: their ambition for sustainable development.
A record label had the vision for itself to become the “largest and best vinyl record producer in the world”. And they were on track to get there. But then suddenly there was a technological innovation, the CD (compact disc), which very quickly took an important market share from the vinyl record.
And that ‘record company’ felt it was a downright attack on their business. So they entered the fight … and lost.
Would it have turned out differently, if that organization had not given itself a ‘vinyl record’ identity, but had worked from a generative image such as: “we want to help customers enjoy beautiful music”?
In that case, a new technology such as the CD, would have nothing threatening, but on the contrary would add a trigger to realise their ‘shared ambition’. And then you can receive that technology with open arms and you do not have to defend the old technology. Because nobody loses, you only win.
Moreover, that generative image would also ensure that all kinds of people could take very different initiatives, which would never have made it in the carcan of the ‘record company’. Just think of an engineer who develops a new wallpaper that can provide better acoustics …
Based on : Rudy Snippe, (2014)., Doorbreek uw bedrijfscultuur. Hoe managers organisatieontwikkeling tegenhouden. Academic Service, 196 pp.
These links provide you with more info on generative images, distributed leadership and organizational dialogue and their impact on sustainable performance.
- Clement Leemans., (2020). Distributed Leadership E-book LINK
- Clement Leemans., (2017). Distributed Leadership. A powerful engine for organizational performance. LINK
- Move!., Website Dialogic Organizations. LINK
- Gervase Bushe., (2020). The Generative Change Model – creating the agile organization while dealing with a complex problem. From : The Dynamics of Creative Change. In : BMI series in Dialogical Organization Development. BMI Publishing. LINK
- Frederic Laloux., (2015). The future of management is Teal. Business+Strategy. LINK