Thursday, September 7, 2017

CIOs as the Digital Visionary: Vision is Not Mirage

Digital leaders have to live and be the vision.

The business world today is dynamic, complex, always on and interdependent, with a high degree of unpredictability. Thus, visionary digital leaders are in demand. A vision re-conceptualizes the future, connects the previously unconnected dream. Vision is not a mirage, vision is to zoom into the future as if it were closer; vision sparks the imagination and opens the mind to new concepts and ideas. It is a clear choice among future scenarios that advocates future trends and promotes certain behaviors. Vision is not a mirage, vision is a future state of being.

Vision perceives where you want to go, and strategy describes how to get there: A clarified vision articulates the destination the organization intends to get and informs the Change Agenda and requires leadership. A vision is an integral part of any company’s strategy. As you cannot plan your strategy if you do not know what your vision for the company is. Vision makes you feel passionate about what is going to happen - the opportunities. Vision is a future state of being, it is a clear choice among future scenarios that promote certain behavior. Vision is critical for today’s digital leaders because organizations nowadays have to step into the uncharted water and blurred business territories due to continuous disruptions and ever-changing business dynamic. Digital leaders need to observe, perceive, and pay attention to the myriad of internal, external, national, or global forces that define and influence the way they do business these days. Unfortunately, many business managers today lose focus of the vision and get stuck at the “keeping the lights on,” and only take care of the immediate problems mentality. Being an effective leader means giving people confidence on where to go and how to get there, supporting them and also stretching them to live to their full potential, both individually and collectively. Vision is not a mirage because digital leaders must empower people to contribute ideas and operate in their giftedness, it is crucial to make a vision as a reality.

Vision is required at any given stage of an organization’s lifespan: Vision is not static, vision can be adjusted with the emergent business property and digital dynamic. Without continuous envisioning of a better future, organizations will become short-sighted, static, and even irrelevant. A vision needs to adapt over time since the world and our competitive environment doesn't stay still. But, the current vision needs to be the principal guide to high-level decision-making and resource allocation. Digital leaders should set the tone to “baking in” the vision into the DNA (culture) and drive change proactively, but also in business structure and processes, to provide for coherence to the organization in order to build up confidence for all stakeholders involved. To realize the vision, vision must be translated into the forward-thinking mindset and personal behavior from leaders to the rest of the organization. Hence, vision is a living thing, it allows leaders to steer their organization in the right direction,  inspire people to think forward and dream bigger, and motivate the team to take action to fulfill the vision and make it the reality.

Vision statements are really what you see at the moment, and may change over time as you grow and learn: In order for a vision statement to be of value, everything in a company ought to flow to and from the vision statement.  If a vision statement exists only on paper, it is useless.
Make vision clear and meaningful so that the organization you are leading know where it’s headed. Vision Statement is a very brief summary to provide guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate progress toward. It must guide people’s decision-making and action. Essentially, the goal of business management is to make the vision into reality. A leader's vision is coherent with his/her organization's vision. With a clear vision, an organization is able to evolve, adapt and innovate, without fear of changes; with a clear strategy, an organization is prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept changes in all its forms. As the vision is the perception of a destination of the journey you want to embark on, but you would need the knowledge to implement, this journey roadmap is "strategy." And the vision statement helps to clarify and adjust the vision accordingly.

Vision is crucial for both individuals and organizations today. Because none of us are stagnant, we are continually discovering who we are and "who" we want our company to be. Digital leaders have to live and be the vision. It follows the wonderful quote, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." It is important for creating and sustaining the vision and applying it to focus and steer your organization. Vision is neither the mirage nor just a statement, you have to step into it, live with it, and sustain it in every day’s activities and in the way of change and business transformation.


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