Vision and Values will forever remain as essential as continuing innovation
to its success. These concepts recognize that a corporation is nothing
more than the people it employs, but sadly, they remain largely misunderstood.
Vision is how the
corporation sees its future. If the vision lies well outside of what
many in the corporation believe could possibly be achieved, it is unlikely
to ever become reality. Nonetheless, management often tries to impress
its vision indelibly into the hearts and minds of employees because
hey, it's the nineties, and every decent organization has a corporate
vision. Everybody knows that!
employees often continue to lead lives of quiet corporate desperation.
I believe that people
think in terms of what Dr. Carl Pribram, former head of neuro-psychology
at Stamford University, calls their Images of Achievement ... the things
they would like to acquire or achieve in their life ... rather than
in terms of vision. I am convinced that management can perform miracles
if they focus on helping people to realize their individual Images of
Achievement within the organization.
What about the other
'V' ... values. People in western society value money. If their lives
were at risk, they would gladly surrender all their material possessions
to save it. These same people would more than likely put their own safety
on the line to save loved ones in danger. A personal values hierarchy
placing money, self, loved ones and spiritual matters in ascending order
at the top of the list is common in our society.
values will usually see them put their own spirituality, family and
self above the corporate source of income, the customer, when the chips
are down. What is the point of a corporation professing that the customer
is number one? Surely that position must always be reserved for the
corporation's human capital.
I encourage management
to discover the values and the Images of Achievement of their human
capital. Management can often easily deliver what is wanted ... flexible
working hours, more responsibility, accountability, input into decisions,
or simply to be listened to and shown respect. A corporate values statement
evolving from an honest appraisal of the needs of our human capital
will usually have those people positioned above the customer, and the
customer usually fully understands why.
that realizes that its values can never be anything other than the collective
values of its human capital, and proudly pronounces and lives by this
fact, liberates its people to realize their Images of Achievement within
the organization. Loyalty is quickly established, and the vision of
the company is something that is understood and valued by everyone and
not just senior management. When that happens, even the sky presents