Understanding the Work of Leaders: Redefining an Organization’s Vision – Strong Advice

As mentioned in the last article on understanding the work of leaders, the work of every leader in charting a new direction for its organization begins by crafting and deploying a compelling vision for the organization. While this is easy in theory, in practice it’s a lot more complex. Leaders should remain conversant with the fact that the organization usually has an already existing vision. Considering this is usually encouraged.

While leading an organization in vision crafting, the questions for every leader to consider should include different variations of the following:

1.     How do we redefine our current organization’s vision?

2.     Why do we need to redefine our vision in the first place?

3.     What are some factors to keep in mind as we hope to transition to a new vision?

4.     How do we explain the need for vision redefinition with stakeholders?

5.     What other obstacles may hinder us from successfully redefining our vision?

With these questions in mind, this article will seek to articulate 7 ways by which an organization’s vision can be redefined.

Careful examination of the intent (why) behind the decision to redefine the vision

Leaders need to have an in-depth understanding of why they seek to redefine the vision of their organizations. This will help them in the way they express it to all stakeholders. Below are 5 good reasons (why) for redefining a vision.

  1. Due to the current or expected market trend
  2. To facilitate a need for an agile culture
  3. To avoid being left behind by a competitor
  4. To prevent an obsolete business model
  5. To serve your customer even better

Consider with keen eyes what your organization’s values are (Spoken and unspoken values)

Have you considered what the core beliefs of your organization are? While some values are crystal clear and shouldn’t be altered by the redefined vision, others aren’t so well spelled out, yet they are equally as important. These are generally imbibed in the culture of the organization, often referred to as unspoken values. The key when redefining an organization’s vision is to observe them and keep them in mind when creating and deploying a compelling vision.

Assess the current organization vision

The assessment of an organization’s vision is a very important step. Leaders should take the time to painstakingly dissect the current vision with an objective eye. Clearly seeing what works and what will support the ‘why’ stated above as well as clearly seeing the elements of the vision that didn’t work and would hinder the ‘why’ above.

Let your new vision have a sense of urgency and necessity

It’s important for leaders to create a sense of urgency and necessity in following through with the redefined vision. Why? Because it really is urgent and necessary. If not acted upon, there will be repercussions that may have a more precarious consequence on the organization as a whole.

Make your vision simple and memorable

This is a very important one. Make your vision simple and memorable. Help all stakeholders be able to grasp it easily. This also helps stakeholders a bit more inclined to support and be an advocate of the vision – an invaluable asset when vision crafting.

Let your vision be specific not ambiguous

It’s common to have leaders coming up with ambiguous and bold visions, that stretch into the future. However, visions should be achievable and should be measurable and thus specific in their statement. This also helps attract more stakeholders in the redefined vision. This is especially true when stakeholders can readily see how they may contribute to the overall success of the vision in specific measurable ways.

Think forward

As a leader, you can’t be scared to think big and forecast into the future. It’s important for all leaders to be adept at seeing future trends before they happen and using insights from industry trends and forecasts to make bold and big vision statements. This, of course, should be backed by solid facts and findings and not mere emotions and feelings. That said, great leaders also know the place of gut instinct when making decisions.

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The next article will focus on the art of thinking forward and dreaming big when crafting and deploying a compelling vision!

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