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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘organizational vision’

Free Activity: Evidence to Support Your Direction Statement

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

If you ask employees about the direction of your organization, you will likely get lots of blank stares. It’s usually not their job to cast the vision for the organization.

That being said, it is critical that everyone understands exactly where your organization is headed. As you prepare to facilitate this session on organizational vision and direction, try one of these things: (more…)

Think They Got The Message? (…Think Again!)

Monday, August 24th, 2009

An international company that specializes in high-end banking software brought their sales team into Denver last week for a kick-off meeting.  My job, in a two-hour talk, was to make sure they “bring their best” every time they are out representing their organization.

Halfway through my talk, I asked them a simple question: “When someone asks you what you do, how do you answer?” As you can imagine, I got 25 different answers from the 35 representatives that were there.  I had to admit to them that I was more confused about what they did now then I was when I had come into their meeting.

After my talk their frustrated CEO wanted to have a little visit.  He explained to me that his executive team had just finished a strategic planning session where they had agreed on the language that should be used.  Not only that, but the previous day he had addressed this very same group and unveiled the wording that should be used.  “Nobody used it,” he said, “Not one single person.”

It’s not surprising.  The language that the executive team had come up with was designed to be read…not spoken.  It was designed with all the right words, but was virtually impossible to say.  That’s why the concept of conversational messaging is imperative.  People in organizations need to present what they do in a way that allows the conversation to continue, not end in confusion.

John Jenson is an author, speaker and consultant, and the host of The Clarity Imperative, from CRM Learning, a training video for groups and organizations about articulating who you are, what you do, and where you’re going.

Vision As An Energy Field

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

We don’t often think of all the invisible forces we rely on to lead a normal life, but how could we live without gravity or magnetism or electricity? Space is filled with these invisible fields. Quantum physics posits that space is rich in the energy waves of particles. The only problem is these fields can’t be observed directly; we only know them by their effects.

Do organizations have fields, invisible forces that can’t be noted except by observing the behavior of employees, or by walking into that office or store? Most of us have dramatic experiences that indicate the existence of such fields. Perhaps it’s walking into a tense meeting and immediately “picking up the vibes.” Or perhaps it’s the sense we get when we walk into a store of how we’ll be treated as a customer.

If organizations do have fields, one of the more interesting questions is whether organizational vision acts as a field. Is the vision of the organization strong enough to be felt? If we meet with different employees at different levels of the organization, do we pick up the same messages or commitment to the vision? Is the space of this organization filled with consistent directions about purpose, direction, values?

If vision is a field, then we need to think about how to create it. What types of activities and focus are required to fill the space of our organization with consistent messages? If we figure out how to do this, field theory suggests that people will be positively influenced by this field. Instead of having to deliver the same message to all employees, especially new employees, the field will communicate that to them. Although these ideas are conjecture, one thing that field theory suggests is that organizational change could be easier and faster than we had thought. If we don’t have to directly influence each person or deliver training to every employee, change might occur through a consistent, intentional field that affects everyone in the organization simultaneously.

Excerpted from“A Perspective: Lessons from the New Science by Margaret J. Wheatley  (Taken from the Leader’s Guide for the CRM Learning video, Leadership & the New Science)Need more help in this area?

Leadership and the New Science provides compelling evidence that things like chaos theory, quantum mechanics and field theory are just as relevant to organizational life as they are to nature. Also see The Clarity Imperative which shows how consistent organizational messaging – including articulating the vision –is the key to organizational focus, commitment and culture. 


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