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his week’s materials focus on Strategic Thinking. This type of thinking employs the principles of Vision,
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A vision is related to the overall objective of the organization. In other words, a correct vision of an organization depicts where the organization wants to see itself down few years. This is not something related to day to day operational activities of the organization. This is a much broader perspective which guides every aspect of the business. A good vision statement can generate or change the organization culture as a whole. It can orient the stakeholders such as the suppliers, customers and other members of the value chain. A vision should have the following few attributes in order to be a pioneer in the strategic thinking process.
- Brevity – A vision statement should be brief
- Clarity – A vision statement should be clear in its context
- Future orientation – A vision statement should be in the context of future
- Stability – The broad nature of vision must be applicable in many a context and must not be subject to change
- Challenge – It should impose a challenging statement on the employees
- Abstractness – It should impose a general idea and not minutes of strategy or tactics
- Ability to inspire – A vision statement should be able to inspire or motivate the employees
A vision statement is very important in developing leadership style of the top managers in an organization. Avery (2005) assured that leaders who espouse a vision will be able to sustain their corporate performance in the long run. As it is a cognitive approach or a mental model, it can be used for both the style of leadership, namely, top-down or bottom-up approach depending upon the context, direction, and development of the vision.
To make automobile accessible to every American – Henry Ford
Building the nation – Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata
To seize the opportunities of tomorrow and create a future that will make us an EVA positive company – Tata Steel, Vision 2007
A mission statement precisely depicts “two things about a company: who it is and what it does” (Falsy, 1989, p.3). it is more specific than vision and it may also be different for a different business unit of an organization. Generally, the mission is more elaborate than a vision. In other words, A Mission is a business-specific proposition which helps the firms achieve the vision. While a vision may be framed by an initial founder or group leader, the missions are generally framed out by the top management of an organization.
To understand how mission may affect the leadership style, let us take the mission statement of PEPSI at times which was:
This gives direction to the management that the style of leadership is to be aggressive and top-down.
The mission statement of Boeing (1950) was:
Become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age
This type of mission statements will create a leadership style in the top management that is more focused towards long-term perspective and may adopt a leadership style that could be more bottom-up and more towards transformational leadership.
Values of any organization are related to its culture and encompass how the employees or different stakeholders will behave in the organization in their day to day operations. Sometimes these values are called the core values. For example, the core values of an Indian Automobile Giant are:
- Customer Obsession.
- Fast, Flexible & First Mover.
- Innovation & Creativity.
- Networking & Partnership.
- Openness & Learning.
Core values are communicated across all the functions and divisions across the organization and all the team members along with the top management follows the values in their operational activities. It is also very important from a leadership point of view. A new joinee, as a graduate, when joins the organization, finds these core values all along his initial days of work and during his interactions with co-workers. The induction of these core values on him/ her can be both in a direct way or in a tacit manner. But when he/ she becomes equipped enough to handle more responsibility or find himself/ herself ultimately in the chairs of top management, his leadership style is always guided by the influenced by the laid down principles of the values.
1. Your Company’s Purpose Is Not Its Vision, Mission, or Values by Graham Kenny, SEPTEMBER 03, 2014, HBR Article
2. Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture, John Coleman, MAY 06, 2013, HBR Article
3. Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era By Gill Robinson Hickman
4. Vision, Mission & Values – Do We Need All 3?, Elizabeth Ferris, Ferris Consulting