A vision or strategic intent is a desired future state for the organisation (for example, to be the leading supplier in its product or service category). Some organisations use the terms ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ practically interchangeably, but it is useful to make a distinction between mission as concerning current purpose, and vision as focusing on the future. Vision or strategic intent is essential to leadership, as a way of rallying members of an organisation around a common cause (Kouzes and Posner, 2009).
In Activity 5 you’ll start to develop a better understanding of the role of vision in strategies.
Activity 5 Compare what two practitioners say about vision and its importance for their strategic success
Watch the two videos below. One is with Peggy Fleming, an Olympic skater, and the other is with Merv Hillier, managing director of Nuvision Consulting Group Inc. Compare what the two practitioners say about vision and its importance to their strategic success. Summarise your thoughts in Table 2.
Transcript: Peggy Fleming
Transcript: Merv Hillier
How did you get on? Peggy Fleming and Merv Hillier present different views of what vision is. To Peggy Fleming, vision is a desired state in athletics. It played an important role as it gave a strong impetus to her career as a skater. Ability to focus on the vision helped to bring it to reality.
Likewise, Merv Hillier considers vision as a synonym of purpose. It is essential because it helps to set the direction of an organisation. Organisations may realise their vision by means of alignment of strategy, structure and culture.