Two weeks ago we talked about the importance of an organizational chart to an organization that will succeed. I also said how many organisations don’t have this chart which is equivalent to a human being not having a backbone .
Before I continue I must congratulate us as a nation that our Vice President and his crew were not injured in the helicopter crash. He is part of the workforce of this nation and any harm to him will definitely harm the workings of the machinery of government. All workforce have to be protected and celebrations are in order when they escape any kind of harm.
Many organisations don’t value their people enough to care about their welfare. If you lose a member of your workforce, where to tragedy or indeed anything the organization will always suffer the consequences.
I believe I jumped the gun a fortnight ago in talking about an organizational chart because there is something that is not only crucial to the divine health and motivation of the workforce but that also comes before an organisational chart and that is the vision of the company.
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint. (This is what the bible says). A restraint is like a boundary, in this case, let us say a boundary of good behaviour, good attitude, good work ethics and profitability.
A boundary hedges in under, at the sides and above a thing. If the boundary is removed everything spills everywhere outside its compartments. A company cannot achieve anything let alone what it was set up for without a vision. The energy and resources will flow in all directions and the company will eventually perish.
Crafting a vision is the ability to think about, or plan the future with imagination and wisdom. So a vision involves, thinking, imagining and a plan. It is a mental image of what the future will look like.
To come up with this, there has to be foresight, insight and hind site. Foresight is looking far off allowing one to know what is in the future. It is like using a telescope that allows one to see far off. Five, ten, fifteen years and more into the future.
Insight is like looking through a microscope to allow one to see in much detail all that is involved. It is like looking under a microscope you see much detail.
Hindsight is like looking through a rear view mirror which allows you to see behind you. This prevents accidents and mistakes while foresight takes you forward.
Without a vision, if you have all the money, all connections and countless other resources, it will all amount to nothing. A company without a vision is a company without a future and without a future, the company will always return to its past. We all know that the past cannot survive in these current times, let alone the future. When you are standing still for any length of time you are not only stagnant but you are regressing.
Without a vision, the company will remain in their comfort zone. We all know that nothing happens in the comfort zone. A vision is a lifeline for any organization ensuring it does not drown in its comfort zone.
I heard the story of three cleaners at NASA. When the first one was asked what he was doing, he said he was cleaning a floor. When the second one was asked, he said he was cleaning a room. When the third was asked, he said he was putting a man on the moon. Each one was telling the truth but only the third one had caught the vision. For the first two, they were just doing an activity which can clearly not sustain their interest. Only the third man will not stop until he sees the vision become a reality.
Without a vision, working becomes difficult, monotonous and boring. The and employees become discouraged and despondent and they can’t move the organization forward.
A true vision will contrast present realities of hardship and impossibilities. Being futuristic it is different from current realities and looks more inviting.
Vision will challenge the present comfort zone, current ease and lethargy. Without vision, the organization and people take a line of least resistance and try to avoid discomfort. Vision will make a timid person bold, a spender into an investor, a reckless person into a tactical person and finally make a happy go lucky person into a serious person.
A vision will tell you how to spend and invest in your resources. What resources to focus on and what resources to discard.
A vision is an incubator of new ideas. Conceives new opportunities. The vision will make a way in uncharted territory, connecting you to resources, human and otherwise. If you know what you are looking for you will recognize it when you see it.
I will not tell you what your vision should be exactly but what the vision has to be able to do for you. Not only must the business owners and senior management craft a vision, but they must also do it in such a way that all the other members of the organization buy into it. If you can’t sell your vision, it will not work for you.
You must write the vision for all to see in the fewest number of words. (The fewer the words convinces all looking at it, understand that you know what you are talking about. This helps people to commit to the written vision. The organization must carry their people along or the people will cast off restraint and the organization will fall despite and in spite of good machinery and plenty of money.
The vision must be broken into manageable bites. For example, a twenty-year vision should be broken down into five yearly and indeed a yearly plan. This forms the strategic plan of the organization and enables further understanding. Action planning with a time frame must come out of Visioning.
When this has been done then the organizational chart and everything else required for Human Resource management will cascade from this.
All this will help in deciding what kind of people both in terms of skills and also behaviour and attitude that will be best suited to deliver on the goals of the organization.
Have another great weekend and try personal visioning this weekend. Just like every organization needs a backbone so does every individual need a vision.
Balogun is the founder of Box & Cedar Ltd a boutique Recruitment and HR Consulting firm