Psychology 1508: Vision. “Yesterday’s idea of the boss, who became the boss because he or she knew one more fact than the person working for them, is yesterday’s manager. Tomorrow’s person leads through a vision, a shared set of values, a shared objective.” Jack Welch.
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Psychology 1508: Vision “Yesterday’s idea of the boss, who became the boss because he or she knew one more fact than the person working for them, is yesterday’s manager. Tomorrow’s person leads through a vision, a shared set of values, a shared objective.” Jack Welch
“The first basic ingredient of leadership is a guiding vision. The leader has a clear idea of what he or she wants to do—professionally and personally—and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures.” Warren Bennis
Outline • What is a vision? • Why create a vision? • How do we communicate the vision?
What is a Vision? • “A vision is a portrait of the future that grabs.” Warren Bennis • Mission Statement • Long-term goals • Core values • Vivid description
1. Mission Statement A statement expressing the person’s or organization’s underlying reason for being.
“To make technical contribution for the advancement and welfare of humanity.”
“To experience the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors.”
“To strengthen the social fabric by continually democratizing home ownership.”
“To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.”
2. Long Term Goals “Ambitious, concrete, and meaningful goals for 1-30 years down the line.”
“Become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age.” (1950)
3. Core Values “An organization’s or person’s most fundamental and inviolable codes of action.”
No Cynicism • Nurturing and promulgation of “wholesome American values” • Creativity, dreams, and imagination • Fanatical attention to consistency and detail • Preservation and control of Disney magic
Elevation of the Japanese culture and national status • Being pioneer — not following others; doing the impossible • Encouraging individual ability and creativity
4. Vivid Description “Bringing the vision to life using words that create images.” “Think of it as translating the vision from words into pictures, or creating an image that people can carry around in their heads.” Collins & Porras
“I will build a motor car for the great multitude.... It will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one—and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.... When I’m through everybody will be able to afford one, and everyone will have one. The horse will have disappeared from our highways, the automobile will be taken for granted... [and we will] give a large number of men employment at good wages.”
Why Create a Vision? • Success • Happiness • Resilience
The Sample • Premier institutions in their industries. • Widely admired. • Made a significant contribution to the world. • Founded before 1950
Visionary Comparison Procter & Gamble Colgate Sony Kenwood Hewlett Packard Texas Instruments Boeing McDonnell Douglas Johnson & Johnson Briston-Myers Squibb Ford General Motors General Electric Westinghouse Walt Disney Columbia
“The fundamental distinguishing characteristic of the most enduring and successful corporations is that they preserve a cherished core ideology while simultaneously stimulating progress and change in everything that is not part of their core ideology.” Myth : The most successful companies exist first and foremost to maximize profits. Reality : Making money is important, but primarily guided by their core values and a sense of purpose.
Success of Visionary Companies • Long term performance (1926-1990): • General Market: $ 415 • Comparison Companies: $ 955 • Visionary Companies: $ 6,356 • Kotter & Heskett (1992) • 4x revenue growth • 7x jobs created • 8.5x profit • 12x stock price increase
Are All Visions Created Equal? • Some more than others (O’Reilly 1989) • High performance standards • Caring attitude • Sense of uniqueness and pride
“Ronald Reagan defeated Carter by offering Americans a vision that was as optimistic as Carter’s was pessimistic.” (PBS)
The Manhattan Project The Unifying Power of Vision “Few, if any, forces in human affairs are as powerful as shared visions.” Peter Senge “It was a remarkable community inspired by a high sense of mission... devoted to a common purpose.” J. Robert Oppenheimer
What is your vision? • Kouzes & Posner (2003) • loyalty and commitment • job satisfaction • motivation and increased productivity “A leader’s dynamism doesn’t come from special powers. It comes from a strong belief in a purpose and a willingness to express that conviction.”
Communicating the Vision • Simplicity and repetition • Images, metaphors, stories • Action follows words
Simplicity and repetition • Avoiding the simplistic “I do not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Oliver Wendell Holmes “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci
“Constant and consistent communication, while at times sounding like a broken record, is the single most reassuring thing I can do for all stakeholders: employees, investors, customers, media, and senior management... And it’s always the same basic message, which is our vision for the company.” Robert Eckert (Mattel CEO)
“Basically, John [Reed] focused the bank on a few things and communicated a simple plan to the board, the regulators, and the Street. That struck me as a great example of effective leadership because it galvanized the organization into pulling through. John simplifed the extremely complex Citibank organization, made cost cutting a priority, and tied every one of the bank’s activities to a set of deliverables.” Citibank Chairman Victor Menezes
Images, Metaphors, Stories • The Bible • American presidents (Emrich et al, 2001) “Winning business leaders use the power of storytelling as effectively as our most gifted public leaders.” Noel Tichy • Making the vision visible “No matter how marvelous the vision, the effective leader must use a metaphor, a word or a model to make that vision clear to others.” Warren Bennis
The Power of Stories • Stories humanize • Martin & Powers (1983)