Is Your Corporate Vision Just a Vision?
Today’s corporations are under enormous pressure to adjust structure, processes and even culture to address a critical problem or be ready for a fleeting opening for innovation. They are constantly striving to reinvent themselves in a rapidly evolving world, creating products and services for an increasingly demanding public.
Effective leaders inspire and encourage a common purpose, a vision for their company their employees can incorporate into their personal value proposition and take to heart. They communicate and lead from a vision that their employees can stand behind. Plans are created and published, and employees are given trinkets and T-shirts to commemorate this vision – and are put on a shelf at their desk as they go about their everyday tasks and responsibilities. Consulting firms have been paid millions of dollars to lay out brilliant strategic plans that never get carried out.
Why does this happen? What keeps our corporations stuck and unable to make more than a miniscule effort toward moving in the direction of something they are deeply committed to? Often the responsibility or blame for no effective change is handed off to circumstances, time and people, and most often a “lack of courage in senior management”. The reality is that change is most often stymied by other commitments that are held by the people who are implementing the change. Those commitments may be for self-preservation, and could be the critical piece of the puzzle that keeps being missed in change initiatives all over the country.
Let me give you an example: Many corporations are committed to changing the corporate structure in order to flatten the organization and give more authority and responsibility to all employees. This sounds like a tremendous opportunity for many people to step into leadership and shine. But, what if the leaders of the organization still thrive on being in control or insisting that things be done their way, even when it isn’t the most efficient way to accomplish the task? What if the leaders are committed to holding on to their power? Can you imagine the conflict that will occur as they begin to implement the change?
This contradiction is a wonderful source of challenge – if we are willing. It is a challenge that requires us to change our minds, to acknowledge that we have competing commitments, and to identify the source of that behavior. When we take the time to identify the other commitments that are being held that stop change in its tracks, we also begin to take the initial step toward real and lasting change. In the example above, the next right step toward implementing change is in identifying the assumptions that are held by the organization (or individual leaders) about what will happen if the reins of control are loosened. What will happen if employees devise ways of completing a task where the outcome is the same as before (for quality purposes), but the path to getting there is different and perhaps more efficient. What will happen if the leaders give up some of their power.
As a leader, the alternative to the status quo is to approach a reinvention under the premise that it will be impossible for you to bring about change without an equal change in yourself and other leaders and associates of the organization.
Are you willing to look deeper to identify the commitments you, other leaders and your corporate culture hold that keep you from implementing the corporate vision?
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.