In this age of scientific rationalism we have been trained to think mechanistically and directionally.
We are going for the goal and the goal is in this direction. We need to take these steps to get there.
Our company has set a vision and that vision is in a direction. Whilst we are heading in that direction we will become extremely focused, and as such develop a level of tunnel vision. We may miss whole sections of possibility in our haste to hit the target.
I am going to propose that this model no longer works. (If it ever did) Almost anyone who has focused on a goal and direction will tell you how they changed course, mostly by necessity. Life is not a straight line. Indeed if we are really being scientific, there is no such thing as a straight line.
Vision is a field. The vision of an organisation needs to permeate every single element of the organisation. I need to know the vision of the organisation from the type of paper it uses, its customer service approach, the way the toilets are cared for, the way the staff speak, dress, act, behave. Every single touch point is a reflection of the organisations vision. This is deeper than a brand. It is a way of being, acting, relating, engaging.
Almost every single organisation is focused on the direction, the outcome, blind to the field that they are creating in their rush to get there. Yet to take time, real time, to steep yourself deep into the core purpose, the very DNA of the organisation, to design the space/field of the organisation from its first breath, this is something few leaders do. Yet paradoxically, it is one of the fastest ways to build a organisation that holds its shape as/when the world gets wobbly.
We know when we walk into an organisation that has the field aligned with their vision. We can feel it. Taste it, touch it. It is in everything. There is no dissonance. The interior values are coherent with the exterior behaviour. The systems reflect the culture and the culture reflect the design of the systems. The experience for the customer is a relaxation, a delight. There is an effortless to engagement. (Its also a pretty rare experience because these types of organisations are rare.) It enables an organisation to do the work they intended to do with an ease and flow and far less turbulence.
For the last 30 years I have been a student of Bucky Fuller. When you take the time to build models of geometry, you do realise very quickly that space has shape. Space is not some vacuum that we can fill in any way we choose. There is a design to it that cannot be argued with. When we dance with natural design instead of imposing human design onto nature, harmony, flow and coherence are the side effects.
Designing the vision, the field, the space of your organisation is the smart way to go. Slower to start, no question. Its how we create what I call beautiful business.
PS. If your organisation has been built the ‘business as usual’ way, roles, responsibilities, goals, focus, charts, cause and effect, KPI’s etc, and you know that the visionary field is dissonant and you want to re-craft it as a beautiful business, drop me a note. I can help.