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Clarifying Vision for Change
If one sees best and farthest at the top of the mountain, then only the few who climb that high can enjoy the vista unimpeded. Most everyone else remains in the valley, awaiting word on what the territory looks like from an otherwise inaccessible vantage point.

Certainly, not all of these people need to see the landscape in its broadest expanse. Perhaps most don't even want to see it, for that matter. But if those few hardy souls who scale the heights expect the continued respect and support of their fellows, then they'd best be prepared to explain what it is that they see so clearly.

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The key questions you must address as you begin communication to clarify the vision for your action include the following:

What exactly is the vision? Why this vision and not another?
How does this action fit with our strategy and with other initiatives going on?
How will our work be different?
Will this mean new procedures or revised reporting lines?
Will this action give us more or less authority?
Is this just for the troops or do managers need to change as well?
Will we be consulted in the design process?

The specifics of the vision usually begin to take shape in the earliest stages of a business action. The first step might be something as simple as a summary of the key elements of the action and how they fit together. Going forward, the communication process can be both the means for testing ideas with people as the vision evolves and the vehicle for disseminating the final packaged form.

As our work with global companies illustrates, a vision can be communicated using anything from a single diagram to a comprehensive design of how the new organization will look and operate.

High-impact vehicles for clarifying the vision include the following:

1. Vision Presentations
These are usually conducted with groups of 10 to 20 employees at a time once the vision is finalized. Both a line manager and a member of the action team who can answer more technical questions will probably preside. Presentations require piloting and some degree of customization for the local audience. They should be supported with strong visuals and takeaway materials for further reading. This vehicle is a great way for the boss to demonstrate both a grasp of the action and a commitment to it.

2. One-on-One Meetings
Regular meetings to discuss the emerging vision are a good way to involve and communicate with key people such as managers and influential frontline employees. Such meetings build commitment before the message is presented to the wider organization. But they are resource-intensive, so you need to be selective about where you direct the effort.

Keep Clarifying the Vision
Here's how we suggest you go about it:
1. Devise one simple graphic that clearly states the key elements of the vision.
2. Turn the vision inside out. Ask: What does it mean for each stake¬holder? What are the threats? What are the benefits?
3. Look for opportunities to build communication into core action-program activities like meetings and workshops, rather than creating too many dedicated communication events.
4. Use a feedback questionnaire in conjunction with each high-impact vehicle to gauge people's understanding and belief in the key vision elements. You also want to assess how they perceive the main implications for themselves individually.

Source :
Stephen Redwood, Charles Goldwasser, and Simon Street, Action Management: Practical Strategies for Making Your Corporate Transformation a Success,. John Wiley & Sons. You can find this excellent book here

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