Monday, February 27, 2006

Communicating a Vision

The importance of organizational/team vision buy-in...

"Communication is vital to a successful design project. After all: the final designed product is only part of the challenge facing a company. To enjoy long-term and sustainable success, a company needs a healthy culture, which is dependent upon the people in the organization. If they do not feel like they are part of what is happening, personally feeling ownership and participation – no matter how far-removed they might be – they will not be productive, positive contributors to the good of the organization.

Strong communication can create a feeling of shared vision in an organization, even among people who are far-removed from the actual product or design process. One of my favourite stories – and it certainly may be apocryphal – is about JFK touring Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. On the tour he came across a janitor scrubbing the floors:

JFK: Hello friend, what’s your name and what do you do here?

Janitor: My name is Ray, Mr. President, and I’m helping to put a man on the moon.

The point of the story being, that because of the shared goal and high organizational morale – the product of strong communication, starting with the President himself (“We will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade”) and running all the way down – everyone including the janitor saw their place not in terms of the specific role they did, but framed within this ambitious, even audacious, goal. And of course, they were actually successful, in no small part due to the shared vision."   continued ...   (Via Orbitstar)

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