What is the Shared Vision Process?
The Shared Vision Process is a custom-designed and facilitated forum where an organization's leaders work together to create a clear, compelling, customer-focused vision for their company or business unit.
The Shared Vision Process can take a number of different forms, ranging from one off-site meeting to a more extended engagement where New Context provides coaching and consulting support to leaders in putting the new vision into action. The process is always custom-designed, drawing upon whatever is most relevant among the following service modules:
Clarifying the context
Creating shared vision
Putting the vision into action
Results of the Shared Vision Process
For leadership teams
A leadership group that participates in a well-structured process for creating a shared vision emerges with a sense of purpose that goes much deeper than the written vision statement they craft will ever be able to say. Putting the vision in writing is necessary to document the vision and communicate it to others. But the vision itself is the clear, compelling shared purpose and values that emerge through a process of dialog within the leadership group. For this reason, a Shared Vision Process has the following benefits for leadership teams:
Team-building. A leadership group that engages in a Shared Vision Process emerges as a team with a strong sense of common purpose with a heightened sense of shared responsibility. By providing a unified framework for the organization's success, a shared vision encourages top leaders to collaborate and to resolve conflicts creatively.
Empowerment. Leadership teams with a shared vision also become more empowered, stepping back from fire fighting and focusing more on the big picture. They gain greater influence, not only within the company but also with external stakeholders.
Visionary leadership. Through the Shared Vision Process a company's leaders align themselves with their organization's development, investing themselves in becoming champions of the vision. A vision statement per se cannot transform an organization, regardless of how well it is communicated. It is only through the active, day-to-day actions of highly committed leaders that a vision becomes a real force.
Leadership that translates vision into action can take multiple forms: Creating and implementing strategic initiatives, translating values into specific competencies and behaviors, communicating the vision and providing visionary leadership, and using a vision as a leverage point for organizational change. These applications of the Shared Vision ProcessTM have resulted in a wide variety of organizational benefits:
Clear direction and a focus on results. A well-communicated vision connects everyone in the organization with the company's big picture. Particularly when linked to a clear strategy and measurable business objectives, a vision gets people focused on achieving the right business results.
Greater empowerment and commitment. Effective visionary leadership puts the work of organizational subunits within a larger framework, giving their work greater meaning and significance. When a vision is challenging yet feasible, it generates excitement, increases involvement, and inspires outstanding performance. When people's actions flow from accommitment to a shared vision, rather than merely from following orders, they become more empowered and responsible, and they want to contribute their best.
Organizational change and continuous improvement. A clear vision provides a guiding framework for organizational change and improvement. Organizational members who have become part of a vision that sets their sights beyond the ordinary, will more readily contribute and adjust to needed changes in organizational structures, systems, and work processes. In addition, a shared vision also articulates a company's cherished values, providing a blueprint leaders can use to shape a more optimal organizational culture.