Friday, January 22, 2016

Five Views from the Vision

Generally speaking, vision is a future state of beings.

Vision is to zoom into the future as if it were closer. Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation, therefore, the vision thing does matter, it is one of the important leadership traits for driving to the right directions. More specifically, which views do leaders see or perceive via their visions?

A Predictive View: Visionary leaders see possibilities before others, but they also need to tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans; they convey a vision based on principles that lift humanity. They intuitively draw on the timeless wisdom and cognizance and present it in a new synthesis and frame the fresh picture to meet the particular need of the times. Vision is a future state of being, vision makes you feel passionate about what is going to happen - the opportunities, it is a clear choice among future scenarios that promote certain behavior. A visionary mind has the ability to think the past, perceive what is now and foresee the future.

A Multidimensional View: The more dimensions the lens has, the vivid leaders can manifest a vision. Vision is something you see, others don't, and a visionary mind is able to and not afraid to leverage contrarian views to shape a holistic picture. Visionary leadership is based on a balanced expression of the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and cultural dimensions.  It requires core values, clear vision, empowering relationships, and innovative action. That also said, a visionary leader might be a futurist, but a futurist may not be a visionary leader.

An Alternative View: The "aha" vision is an "entrepreneurial" attribute; the ability to envision a solution to a perceived or not-yet-perceived need. It takes versatility to shape new, new box, especially noted for transforming old mental maps or paradigms and creating strategies that are “outside the box” of conventional thought. They embody a balance of right brain and left brain thinking. A visionary would ask “What if we do things in a new way” or 'How can I make things better for the whole?' A good leader asks the questions anyone would want to ask, if only you had his/her perspective.

An Inquisitive View: A great leader provides the vision to achieve the results that all would want to go if you could define the challenges. An effective leader should not only ask a deep “WHY” - to diagnose the root cause of problems but also ask the positive “Why NOT?" -The refusal to be bound by constraints and limitations and pursuit of possibilities rather than impossibilities seems to be a hallmark of great leadership achievements. A true leader has vision and insight to ask “What If & How about.” You could say their inquisitiveness leads to the vision, or their vision further drives their inquisitiveness to see things differently.

An Outlier's view: A visionary is often an outlier - the one who steps out of a conventional thinking box, or linear patterns. Therefore, they could see things further or deeper. In statistics, an outlier is an observation point that is distant from other observations. When data scientist and analyst collect data, sometimes there are values that are "far away" from the main group of data. Are outliers real data or error? If outliers have a story, shall you listen to? Understanding outliers is important for forecasting. Indeed, how to deal with outliers when one's focus is on forecasting or classification? Now if your focus is on forecasting, you need to understand outliers, and perhaps refine your model.

At the digital age with “VUCA” characteristics, vision becomes more important to both catch opportunities and manage risks. The vision should be attainable; however, the vision shouldn't be a fixed target. It should be stable enough to make it worthwhile to make a concerted effort to attain it and dynamic enough to be able to react to any change in business direction or context. An attainable vision is necessarily not setting precedence to constraints. A vision should be attainable subject to current times and its ability to adapt to changing times. The vision thing does matter more nowadays.


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