Shared Vision

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.            What is a shared vision? Why is it important to an organization? Peter Senge, in his book "The Fifth Discipline" describes a shared vision as "... a force in people's hearts, a force of impressive power....At its simplest level, a shared vision is the answer to the question, "What do we want to create?" " A shared vision is a picture that everyone in the company carries in their heads and hearts.

So what does a shared vision do for your company? It converts the company into 'our company'. It creates a sense of commonality and gives coherence to diverse activities. It creates excitement and makes an extraordinary company. It allows everyone to work together. It creates a common identity and a sense of purpose. It encourages new ways of thinking and acting. It gives courage and fosters risk taking and experimentation. Basically without a shared vision, that vision you spent time creating is pointless and meaningless. And without a shared vision the learning organization cannot exist.

A shared vision should be clear and compelling, aspirational for a better world in the future, and describable in simple terms. It should be capable of being understood as a common purpose, and of acting as a guideline for evaluating decisions and outcomes on a continuing basis. Nanus (1992) recommends that a vision be challenging but realistic, and developed by people throughout the organization. The content of a shared vision is less important than the life it brings to the organization. Peter Senge quotes Robert Fritz that "It's not what the vision is, it's what the vision does." (Scharmer, 1996, para. 30). A shared vision comes from the individual visions of group members; it becomes a force for action through the process of becoming shared. The difference between the shared vision and current reality should generate energy for change. Through its use, a shared vision should ensure that strategic decisions and specific goals are aligned with the organization’s...
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