Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Importance of a Vision

After reading the “Building your Company’s Vision” article, I was forced to reevaluate my definition of vision. Prior to reading the article, I thought of vision as a company’s ability to look towards the future, and the process they would use to achieve their goals. However, I was persuaded in my way of thinking as the article laid out the basic tenants of what consists of a good vision for a company. The article described core ideology and an envisioned future as the two pieces to a company’s vision, and gave a thorough analysis about why these are needed.  

As an exercise, I looked back towards my own experiences working. Such as my internship over the summer of 2016 at a non-profit organization, which specialized in advocating for veterans’ rights.  Even though I was there for a short time, I asked myself did I know the core values of the organization? Core purpose? Do they have a BHAG? Or a vivid description? The answer was yes.

In the realm of core ideology, the organization’s core values and purpose came through all the work the organization was doing both on the ground and inside their office. As the articles states, the core ideology of an organization does not need to be a singular statement or written document, but is an essence to be captured. The organization’s purpose was to empower post 9/11 veterans. This core purpose could really be seen in all of their programs, such as veteran advocacy or education.  One of their core values that could be immediately detected was being a community-based organization, as the events and programs created were by community members and the community had a large impact on the decisions made in the organization. 

As for envisioning the future, I found there to be a little difference from what is described in the article, and wondered if it fully matched what happened in the organization I interned with. BHAG’s in the organization were hampered by budgetary constraints. I felt that the organization held back in setting their future goals because they were unsure if they would have the money or even exists in the same capacity in 10-30 years due to funds. I think the fear of having a reduction in donations, impeded their ability to make the best BHAG for the organization. The one target BHAG discussed during my time there was to become a bigger influencer in government lobbying than there competitors.  This was evident in their push to have more money and staff in their D.C. offices.  Vivid description was not a problem, as the organization’s CEO was charismatic and took a very active role in all matters detailing their vision.

I thought the article was fascinating because I had not thought about if all organizations, especially non-profits, have a vision planned out in the way described.  But going through my experiences, I found that if an organization has a good vision laid out at its inception, anyone who comes into contact can pick out their core ideology and envisioned future.

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