With vision you can even get to the moon

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things,
not because they are easy,
but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills,
because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept,
one we are unwilling to postpone,
and one we intend to win.”

These iconic words were spoken by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Until that moment, the space race had been very disastrous for the americans. Six weeks before, Yuri Gagarin a Soviet cosmonaut had been the first human to go into space. The race for space between the Soviet Union and the United States was in full swing. Kennedy had a clear goal in mind and wanted to give the country perspective. ‘I believe this nation should set itself the goal of landing a man on the moon’ with these words he captivated the American people. Americans succeeded seven years after Kennedy expressed his vision to be the first to land on the moon. This proves that a strong vision provides direction creating limitless possibilities.

What is a vision anyway?

Vision is your ‘view’ of the future and your organization's position in this future. Vision comes from the Latin ‘videre’, which means to see, to understand. A vision indicates what you believe in, what the world should look like. The difference between vision and mission is easy to explain. Your vision is your goal, your mission is what you must do to achieve this goal. The vision is your WHY, your mission is your HOW. From the vision arises the mission and from your mission arises your strategy, aka WHAT. With your vision, you answer the question: why do we exist? The answer to that question largely determines how inspiring a vision is. Good to know is that vision-driven organizations really do perform much better.

Where will we go and who will join us?

The hallmark of a good vision is that it inspires, connects and motivates people. Therefore, your vision is the core, the foundation of the organization, around which everything revolves. It forms the compass toward the future, it is the dot on the horizon. But unfortunately, the first thing people do when they hear the word ‘vision’ is yawn with boredom. Why is it that vision has such’a bad image? Unfortunately, most visions are vague, unclear and often are meaningless because of all the compromises.

There is too often a gap between what organizations really are what they claim to be in their vision. As a result, most employees find their organizational vision implausible and uninspiring. Far too often, desk drawers bulge with the latest roaring visions. Well-developed visions should be a rallying cry, a call to action, ideas and innovations. A strong vision brings focus and provides an anchor to make bold strategic choices.

Ruud Olijve

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