Who is your organization becoming
Great vision ends in being not doing; it surpasses activities. Great vision answers the questions who do we want to become.
What you want to do is important; who you want to become essential.
Products and sums:
Organizations have identity in the present and trajectory toward the future that goes beyond products and tasks. Organizations are the sum of individual behaviors, attitudes, and intentions. Products are expressions of organizational being.
Families, teams, divisions, entire organizations create who they are with the sum of their individual beliefs, behaviors, interactions, and achievements.
Organizations and products:
Products are expressions of organizational being. Great leaders build organizations.
Great leaders impact interactions, intentions, and beliefs. Most importantly, leaders help individuals believe powerful truths like agency, gratitude, improvement, initiative, and service.
Vision finds expression in doing – positive impact – making a difference. More importantly, great vision takes people within organizations on a journey toward a new way of being.
When you ask who we want to be, values become guiding principles. Values are best understood in the behaviors that support an organization on its path to being.
These ideas impact hiring, firing, interventions, training, rewards – the way we produce products. In addition, they impact the way we think and feel about ourselves on the journey. In the end they define success.
Don’t miss a single issue of Leadership Freak, subscribe today. It’s free. It’s private. It’s always practical and brief.
Go to the main page of Leadership Freak by clicking the banner at the top of this page, look in the right-hand navigation bar, enter your email and click subscribe. Your email address is always kept private. Note: if it doesn’t arrive, check your spam filter for a confirmation email.
I like your statement that, “great vision takes people within organizations on a journey toward a way of being.” Journey and way are both action words. For an organization to function at peak, who you are may define what you do but if you don’t do your values they cease to define you. “Way of life” or “way of being” are good words to incorporate “being” and “doing” so that we live the vision fully.
“When you ask who we want to be, values become guiding principles. Values are best understood in the behaviors that support an organization on its path to being.”
It is really important that leaders do not substitute their values for those of the organization; in the end the organization will suffer.
Dan, another really thought-provoking post. The natural order of things is to be born, grow, atrophy and die. Some things (and people) take a long time to do that, others go relatively quickly. What you’re talking about is maintaining that organizational growth because the alternative is to begin to atrophy.
That makes organizational growing and being as much a goal as the missional goals. And it makes the role of leader even more critical, because managers maintain the status quo. It takes a leader to move an organization, as you so clearly point out.