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

Part of King's genius was

"...His ability to reconstruct the civil rights movement, from a struggle between white people and black people (which divided the nation) to a struggle between America's national ideals as represented in the Constitution......then-current realisation of these ideals - a struggle in which, at least potentially, all could join together..."
Ron Heifetz as quoted by Robert Kegan et al, 2009

This changed the conflict to focus on closing the gap, ie it became everyone's responsibility rather than aligning people with one side or the other.


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