Who should be involved in the creation of an organizational vision?

Even though it’s ultimately the boss and the leadership team’s responsibility to set the vision for their organization, the process they use to get there can make an enormous impact on the levels of engagement they generate within the rest of the organization.

For example: If they go sit in a room by themselves, craft a clever statement, then send it out via email — or even with the fanfare of an all-hands meeting — people can end up feeling disconnected from the vision.

The real prize in the vision-crafting process is generating the broadest and deepest base of ownership, support and engagement by being more inclusive in its creation from the start.

Some executives are concerned that this inclusive approach may slow the process down, and it might — but only for a few weeks, not a few years. Instead of going off site for two days and hashing it out as a leadership team, in the long run, it’s more productive to spend a month in a variety of forums allowing staff to contribute what they see. If you can get the top 50-100 people in an organization of 5000 feeling total ownership and commitment for the vision (not just a few dozen), you get a multiplier effect.

I’ve worked with organizations where, in a matter of weeks, every single person in the company is totally on board with the vision because of the 100 or so people who owned it from the start.

What actions are you taking to ensure that your organization’s vision is being created by more than just the top executive team? We would love to hear your comments.

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