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Can You See Where You’re Going: How to construct an effective organizational vision


Guest articles > Can You See Where You’re Going: How to construct an effective organizational vision


by: Tom Laughlin


A well constructed vision guides people in their day to day strategic, tactical, and operational decisions. A well constructed vision also inspires people to go beyond what they thought possible. A poorly constructed vision not only confuses and demotivates people, it causes them to lose confidence in the organization’s leadership.

Make it Relevant

A well constructed vision contains something of interest and value for everyone associated with the organization and relates directly to the organization’s mission, purpose and values. Misalignment with mission and purpose can cause dissention and confusion within the organization. Too many times visions look more like financial goals for the leadership team than a picture of the future painted with the values of the entire organization.

Make it Visible but not Reachable

A clear vision inspires people in the organization to create something together. A vision easily reached won’t challenge people in the organization to stretch themselves. On the other hand, a vision people can’t imagine won’t give them a sense of direction. Worse, a vision people can’t imagine erodes confidence in the leadership of the organization.

Make it Durable

A well constructed vision has the advantage of durability. Nothing demotivates people in an organization like a leadership team that constantly changes direction. Market realities, financial responsibilities, technical advances, and many other factors impact the objectives, strategies, and plans set forth by the leadership of an organization. A well constructed vision not only remains unchanged but thrives in the face of tactical challenges. People see challenges as obstacles to overcome in the pursuit of the organization’s vision rather than an assault on their sense of direction.

Objectives – Tangible, Reachable, and Measurable

Objectives play an important role in the realization of a vision. A well constructed vision easily yields short and medium term objectives to track progress toward the vision and give people a tangible, measurable, and reachable set of goals. In addition, organizational objectives can be broken down into smaller objectives to give individuals and teams a clear sense of how to contribute to the success of the organization.

Strategies – Workable, Flexible, and Believable

Strategies address how the organization can achieve its objectives. Strategies give people a reason to believe they can reach their objectives. If people in the organization understand their key competencies and strategic advantages they will not only believe the objectives are possible, they will understand how to formulate their own objectives and tactical plans to contribute. Unlike a vision and objectives a strategy must take into account the present and future realities of competitors, technology, resources, and other challenges. For this reason strategies must be flexible so they can change with changing circumstances.


Tom Laughlin is the President of Caravela Inc, a leadership consulting firm based in Minneapolis Minnesota. You can find more information about Caravela and Tom Laughlin at http:\\ or send an e-mail to

Contributor: Tom Laughlin

Published here on: 10-Oct-10

Classification: Business

Website: http:\\

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