Building a Vision

Take the case of Sony, its vision rests on the values of encouraging individual creativity and its determination to be a pioneer. Such core values reflect how you want your future to look and the timeless principles to be followed while running the show irrespective of what happens in and around the organization. The vision statement should be built around certain core values. Thus, values are the essential glue of vision. Since a company’s different businesses may need to operate with different strategies, it’s their shared values that will prevent them from going in different direction. The vision statement should also spell out the core purpose of an organization very clearly. For example we know that 3M’s purpose is to solve problems innovatively; Nike wants to provide the experience and emotion of competition – winning and crushing competitors, Blue Star wants to provide world class engineering products and service. The vision statement should be built around certain core values. Unstructured inputs could be taken from everyone before developing the corporate vision. Companies like Larsen & Toubro, Crompton Greaves, and Gujarat Heavy chemicals typically follow certain steps in this regard: (1) elicit ideas from employees as to how their dream organization should be like in terms of characteristics; (2) combine these with the company’s core values and purpose to build the vision statement.

Case 1

Vision building process: The Cadbury way

In the late 1980s, Cadbury was smarting from customer rejection of new products like biscuits and ice cream. Meanwhile increased cocoa prices has pushed up retail prices of its mainline product – chocolate – affecting sales. Realizing that it was losing its way Cadbury used vision as a tool too re-asset just what kind of a company it wanted to be. First, senior managers brainstormed and created vision and mission statements that were unfortunately too long to be memorable. These were then word crafted into a tighter vision statement that everyone in the company carries on their person and can see written on posters on the walls. Then, the company not only translated this vision Cadbury India will continue to maintain its leadership position in the confectionery market as well as achieving a strong national presence in the food drinks sector into specific goals, but also exited the biscuits and ice cream businesses which did not fit in . Since it strategy now had a focus the company returned to is core products. The vision of being the market leader was translated into different operational and marketing strategies such as downsizing or providing more value for money whose rationale was clear to employees because of the obvious linkages with the vision. To Cadbury Vision 2020 has brought clear sightedness.

Creating a shared vision:

Most managers now a days talk about a shared vision, meaning that individuals from across the organization have a common mental image and a mutually supported set of aspirations that serve to unite their efforts. People at all levels must share a common inspirational image that compels them give their best and realize their own dreams. The vision, once finalized must be injected into the veins of the organization being shared owned and lived by very single person in the company.

Case 2

Cutting a stone or building a cathedral?

The importance of having a shared vision is best illustrated by the story of a traveler passing a stone quarry who came across three people cutting stones. He asked the first: What are you doing? And he replied irritably can’t you see I am cutting a stone. When he went further he saw the second man cutting a similar stone and he again asked what are you doing? And the man replied I am earning a living. A little further he came across a third man cutting another stone. When he asked what are you doing? The man thrust his chest our proudly and said I am building a cathedral!

Source: Strategic Management

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