50 cars crashed into each other on a winter morning this January on Vadodara-Ahmedabad Expressway.
Question is: Were these car drivers having a problem with their ability to see? Well…. NO… But, their VISION was compromised because it was clouded by the dense fog. Well, this is a typical example of a situation where our ability to see is okay, is alright.. but we don’t have a VISION, and this is my response to the queries which I got from my earlier video.
Namaskar, welcome back to my YouTube Channel - Coach Dilip Pandya and in this series of videos on VISION. In this particular video, we shall discuss about the importance of VISION. Well we can discuss on and on and create TBs of videos on this important and critical and vast topic. However, I shall restrict myself to the most important SEVEN. And mind you, we shall be discussing them not in the order of their importance, they are all important and intertwined.
As published in the October 2016 Harvard Business Review article. A research article quoted that when tens of thousands of employees across the globe were asked two simple questions
Well the no.1 important trait came out to be Honesty for both the categories and a close second for “Leaders” was having an ability to create VISION and take the team along on a compelling VISION journey. This was not the response for colleagues and no other trait was so stark in the difference between a LEADER and a COLLEAGUE. 85% of the respondents said that a leader should have a VISIONARY capability. So, if you want to be a leader, you better develop this capability if you don’t have one!!
Well, I have come across questions wherein people have sighted examples of scores or hundreds of cases where leaders or organizations are successful, but they don’t have a clear VISION or a compelling VISION. Well that’s true. However, I would like to create a perspective here… There is a difference between a SUCCESS and a TRUE SUCCESS. TRUE SUCCESS is achieved when you exploit and TRANSCEND your potential. So, if I am here and I have not planned on anything or I have not ENVISIONED anything and if I go here, I am successful. But for TRUE SUCCESS, if I can exploit my potential and TRANSCEND my potential, I’ll go here.. This is TRUE SUCCESS. For TRUE SUCCESS, you need a compelling VISION.
Well, North is an indicative direction for GROWTH. My guru, Dr. Oleg Konovalov, himself a noted authority globally on this subject; his recent book “The VISION Code” is a bestseller. He states; “If strategy is a bridge from present to the future, then without VISION this is a bridge to nowhere.” So, if you want a true North direction, in future, then you need to have a VISION, a compelling VISION.
Well, all of us know that life is a matter of grey shade, it’s neither absolutely white nor absolutely black. From an organization’s perspective, the opportunities that presents themselves are also similar and the leadership team has to decide which opportunity to take and which to forgo. This is done by analyzing the pros and cons, and having the clarity of VISION enables the team to do that with a greater effectiveness.
Compelling VISION provides a crystal clear reasoning as to why the company is doing what it is doing, and what specific actions would take the company towards the rosier future. VISION generates tremendous focus, which is inspiring and motivating, and this generates confidence in the team members. And mind you, confidence is a MAGNET, it attracts all positive energy from all stakeholders, be it team members, be it leaders, even investors. Take the case of AMAZON. Amazon’s corporate VISION is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” Well, this clarity of VISION enabled Amazon to persist despite failures. It has its share of failures and major ones as well. But, Amazon committed resources and the team persevered and has posted laurels and successes after successes.
According to a 2016 global survey from LinkedIn and Imperative 74% of candidates revealed that they want a job where they feel like their work matters. This also is a major criteria measured during an Employee Engagement Survey by the famous tool Gallup Q12 – leading Employee engagement survey tool
Employees today have more expectations from their prospective employers or current employers, and this goes far beyond just paychecks. In Fact the same survey found that if the employees had a great workplace culture where they mattered, then they (65%) were willing to compromise their salary or forgo fancy titles then deal with a bad workplace environment, and this is becoming increasingly important for a modern organisations because the workforce is increasingly being constituted of millennials. And millennials as you know are social media natives, so earlier generations were looking for work-life balance, millennials are looking for work-life alignment where they can be the same online, offline or at home, on the job, everywhere...
We have seen that VISION generates confidence among team members and other stakeholders, well this in turn breeds courage and the courage generates confidence to work outside the comfort zone and all of us know that true learning, true achievement, true innovation happens once out of the comfort zone. So, it’s a wonderful positive cycle that sets in wherein VISION feeds on courage because courage is required to implement A VISIONARY JOURNEY. Hence, VISION feeds on courage while VISION generates or breeds courage. It’s a wonderful positive energy cycle which besets an organization and it generates wonderful results. VISION pushes people not only to work hard and do more but pushes people to move beyond what they think they are capable of, the TRANSCENDENCE of potential we were talking about.
Culture by itself is a huge advantage. I have worked in companies, to name a few like, TATA, ONIDA, VODAFONE, AIRTEL… wonderful work cultures, distinct from one another but wonderful… and they were so enabling. So I know first-hand the importance of courage. And synergy also by itself is a wonderful tool to have in a team to out-perform competition. VISION enables a synergistic work culture a wonderful, potent combinations in an organization.
A clear VISION statement helps the organization run more efficiently because it keeps everyone on the same page, there is no misalignment. In fact, a Bupa Global survey found that as high as two-thirds of senior business leaders have suffered from mental ailments at some point in their career because of lack of alignment. Two-thirds is a huge cost for an organization as well as individuals also.
National Bureau of Economic Research cites data where, 85% of CEOs and CFOs opined assertively that an unhealthy culture breeds unethical behavior and this is a tremendous drain on company’s resources. Nine out of 10 CFOs (People responsible for the financial health of the organizations) believe improving company culture would increase their company’s business value and performance.
Happiness recruits, but consonance retains. Consonance is when what you do matches with who you are (or who you want to be). Steven Hunt at Monster.com quoted one study which found over 70% of applicants who were a cultural fit were willing to compromise on salary while joining an organization. Teams which were culturally aligned had a lesser manpower over a 30%.. HUGE!!! WOW…. Such a big enabler… for performance and such a cost saver. A VISION enables cultural build. A VISION enables a company to find a value and a purpose, the purpose in turn orients every decision an employee makes and can also orient other stakeholders including suppliers and customers.
According to James L. Heskett – Emeritus of Harvard University, companies which are culturally rich outperformed their competitors by 20%-30%.. WOW!!! What a wonderful tool to develop a competitive edge in this world. So you see a tangible output is generated by an intangible thing called CULTURE/VISION. Is it worth ignoring??
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One of the queries that I received from my earlier video was what is “SIMPLE BUT NOT EASY”. I shall touch up on that in my next video which shall be out soon. In the meantime, I would also want you to delve on the examples what is simple yet not easy and send your inputs to me. I would be looking forward to it.
Dedicated to Shri K.J.Pandya - My Inspiration, My Support-System, A Tall Leader , An Excellent Management Practitioner and An Inexhaustible Source of Kindness & Empathy