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HOT TAKE: Vision

Kirjoitettu 10.04.18
Esseen kirjoittaja: Ville Vuolle
Kirjapisteet: 2
Kirjan kirjoittaja:
Kategoriat: 1.2. Oppimisen taidot ja työkalut, 2.2. Tiimityön taidot ja työkalut, 2.3. Yhteisöllisyyden kehittämisen työkalut

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I’ve seen quite many concepts of visions in organizations and could not relate to many of them. Here’s my take – based on my own experience with my team.

Clash of thoughts

Recently I ended up in a discussion with a friend, who at the time was also a client on mine. At first we talked about visions in general when I mentioned the vision of our company. We knew it was a bit edgy, but nothing too extreme.

She didn’t fully agree to it. This caused an internal conflict in my thoughts and it served as an inspiration for this article.

Conflicts with your own thoughts = an opportunity for learning.

We haven’t promoted our vision as a slogan and hence I haven’t been in that specific situation. She was 100% right from her point of view. No doubt about it.

Our vision had a great track record of serving the function for 2,5 years already. No doubt about that either. What was the disagreement on, then?

Context. We both had completely valid points in our own context.


The Co-Creation our Vision

In the starting phase of our company we spent at least 10 hours discussing about our vision spanning over several sessions. And there were only a little more than 10 individuals in our co-operative company at that point.

A reasonable person may ask that why waste such a tremendous amount of time working on our vision, which ended up being 3 words.

Answer: Because we wanted to involve everyone, and leave no one outside with a feeling that they have not participated in the creation process of our vision. There were a few moments when we got frustrated and just wanted to come up with something.

But that’s the essential difference.

If a single person feels that their point of view is not addressed, they start the process from an outer ring in the sense of forming the team.

Personal for everyone, and the one goal we have in common – a vision.

In hindsight; one good measure our vision also included, was that it was set for a pre-determined time period of 3 ½ years. Simon Sinek talks about tangible goals. Take his words for it – not mine.

Benefits? We haven’t revisited our vision once to evaluate whether should we reconsider it.

Creating our vision also started the phase of peer-pressure, because that was when we all were on the same page – why – we were doing this in the first place.


There are “Visions” and Visions

Maybe an organization itself and the employees need one vision for each others’ context? Or should they have just one vision depending on the employee’s context, and forget about superficial “all-purpose” company visions?

Slogan is a thing on it’s own. Usually a company’s public vision (slogan) is not co-created by every party it affects, so can you honestly say that it’s their vision?


You want to co-create a vision to fit the employees frame of work. That specific context, that the team is working in. That’s the reason why they must be involved in the process of creating of the vision.

If every team member agrees to a common vision and it suits the company long-term objectives, it’s 100% valid.

In my opinion; if someone just handles you the vision which you haven’t participated constructing, it’s a set goal.

Or a target.

Not a vision.

BUT it’s a – ok. Just don’t fool yourself in to thinking that everyone is going to be equally motivated by YOUR vision. Changing the word means nothing if you don’t change your practices.

They might have to work for the GOAL you set up (Just to state the obvious – it’s their job).

But is that something you want to emphasize as a leader? Do your job?

“Motivating” your staff by calling out their responsibilities is arguably easier in the short-term – but considering long-term effects – I wouldn’t say it’s that sustainable.

Note: my point is not to say that there shouldn’t be any goals – and visions would be superior when compared. No. They just serve a different purpose.

If a manager thinks that the motivation must be developed by every employee themselves in exchange for their salary, they might not be a leader. If they can’t afford to lose any valuable members of your team, maybe it’s not wise to treat them as expendables.

But that’s a different topic of “Why I Hate the Term: Human Resources” for another article.

Thank you for reading. And thank you, Christine for challenging my thinking!


Based on a number of Youtube-content, but here’s a couple:

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