Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Shared Purpose/Vision and Visioning

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"...It is critical that the organisation develops a clear idea of where it wants to go and what kind of organisation it wants to be..."

David Pitonyak, 2005

VISION is the expression of the desired, long-term future state of the organisation:

"what we want to become, or a picture of the future"

A definition:

"...It is an image or dream of what our organisation aspires to be or become......or a mental image of what we want to create in the future..."

Cynthia Scott, 1993

"...It is about building perceptions in the mind..."

Al Ries, 1997

A shared purpose is

An image of how we see our purpose unfolding

A picture of the preferred future we seek to create

An answer to the question "what do we really want?"

. Needs to be expansive!!!!!!

One of the main aims of the shared purpose is get a common focus. If this can be achieved, it "can set the world alight": like a lens focussing sunlight on one spot on a page of paper, it will ignite the piece of paper!!!!!

For example, Martin Luther King, when he made the famous address at the Lincoln Memorial as part of the Civil Rights movement, did not state that he had a strategic plan; he stated that he had a dream

"...I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they are not judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today..."

Martin Luther King as quoted by Don Watson, 2004

Examples of Effective Shared Purposes/Visions

NASA "Before this decade is out, landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth"

GE "The most competitive enterprise in the world"

Furthermore, Jack Welch wanted GE

"To operate with the speed, informality, and open communication of a corner store"

Jack Welch as quoted by Jack Welch et al, 2005

Google "Organise the world's information and make it universally acceptable and useful"

Microsoft "A computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software"

In 2001, this vision statement was revisited and changed to

"Empower people through great software ‐ any time, any place and on any device"

By 2007 it had evolved further:

"To enable people and businesses to realise their full potential"

Salvation Army "Making respectable citizens out of society's misfits and outcasts"

(such as alcoholics, criminals and derelicts)

USA Peace Corp "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your


Coca-Cola "To put Coke within arm's reach of everyone on the planet"

Walt Disney "If you dream it, you can do it"

Nike "Just do it"

This changed in late 1990's after Nike was attracting negative vibes, such as too mainstream and using cheap, youth labour in developing countries, etc.. The revised Nike vision:

"I can"

Girl Scouts (USA) "Helping youngsters become confident, capable young women who respect themselves and other people..."

National Conservancy (USA) "Preserve the diversity of nature's fauna and flora"

Fiji Electricity Authority "Energising our people, our nation"

Later this was changed to

"Energising our nation"

IBM "Provide the best business solution"

Previously proprietary hardware was the glue that bound IBM to its customers. Now it is IBM's experts who are its best asset because they can help customers figure out and implement the unique technology set-ups that allow them to differentiate themselves from competitors. This is achieved by producing high quality products that present good value

Nolan Meats "Delivering pleasurable meat moments, every time"

Shell "Go well, go Shell"

BP "Beyond Petroleum"

This has resulted in BP (originally British Petroleum) re-focusing away from fossil-type fuels to sustainable sources, such as wind, solar and water

National Road Safety Council (Fiji) "Safety on the Move"

Land Transport Authority (Fiji) "Steering Fiji Safely"

Punjas(Pacific) "The Choice of the Pacific"

TFL (Fiji) "The world at your fingertips

Proctor & Gamble "Improve the lives of the world's consumers"

Merk & Co "Medicine is for people"

IKEA "To create a better everyday life for people"

Facebook "To network all mankind on line"

Cochlear (developer of the bionic ear hearing device) "Restoring hearing to the deaf"


3M "To solve the unsolvable problems innovatively"


Dyson "To solve problems others seem to ignore"


Wal Mart "To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things that rich people buy"


Whatsapp  "Put the app on every single smartphone in the world"


Uber  started as "everybody's private driver"


it has change to


"An instant gratification service that gives people what they want, when they need it"


Airbnb   "To blaze a trail for improved global economic model that is fairer and more efficient than today's"

On the other hand, the visioning can have a downside. For example, Enron changed its vision from "the world's best oil and gas company" to "the world's best company"!!!!

a vision can be like a slogan, eg I love New York (John Leland, 2016)

organisational development change management

(sources: Cynthia Scott et al, 1993; Jason Jenning, 1995; Brent Schlender, 2001;David Kirkpatrick, 2002; FEA, 2002; Nolan Meat, 2002; Peter Drucker, 2001; Joe Mar, 2005; Karlson Hargrove et al, 2005; National Road Safety Council, 2005; Land Transport Authority, 2005; Joshua Gliddon, 2007; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, 2008; Richard Branson, 2008; Julian Birkinshaw et al, 2009; Chris Tryhorn, 2009; Peter Roberts, 2012; Michael McQueen, 2013; Thomas Schulz, 2014)

A Comment On Vision/Purpose Statements

"...what business does not have a mission or value statement? Enron had a corporate value statement, as did WorldCom, Tyco, and countless other firms that have ultimately been devastated by violations of their own code of conduct. None of these value statements functioned as adequate checks to exceeding abuse of power......that's the difference between good ideas and governing ideas. Ideas move from good ideas to governing ideas when they become the foundation of an organisation's system of governance - that is, when they become a source of decision-making power. Having lofty value statements obviously doesn't necessarily empower people to speak out against practices that violate values. Real governing ideas must be married to processes and norms that enable people to live the organisation's values and purpose......establish ways that people can challenge executive actions effectively, embedded in a culture that both respects and generally challenges authority. Otherwise, people can only do so by putting themselves at personal risk, which means that corrections inevitably occur too late. Most value and mission statements combined with traditional authoritarian government structures are worse than useless - they breed cynicism and become a smoke screen for business as usual. Discovering governing ideas et al generate real meaning and building the commitment to translate them into how we live and work together is hard work..."

Peter Senge et al, 2005


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