Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Look and A Plan

As we continue to look at the change process our next step is to create a vision and a plan. To do this we need to understand first what it means to have a vision. Some have said that a vision is a preferred future. While this begins to get at the idea it has one tragic flaw, our preferred future might not exist in the realm of possibility. For me a vision has to be something that is attainable. It might take great effort and will even necessitate a move of the Holy Spirit.

As for the plan, many great organizations and individuals have a well polished vision. This vision is posted in several places and presented as the hope of the organization. A vision without a plan is foolishness. One we have a look at what could be, there needs to be a concrete plan to get there. I say concrete because this is where detail begins to enter the picture. This is not the time for maybe and kind-of-sort-of language. The plan consists of the action steps being implemented to reach toward the vision. Equally, a plan without a vision is foolishness as well. Then people are putting in effort for an unknown direction and future.

It is easy to see how this would work in an organization, and I am sure many have experienced a organizations which make some classic blunders in the vision and plan department. The greater challenge is when the lens shifts from the organization to the individual. Most people have given thought about the vision in their life. It might involve making loads of cash, it might mean climbing the corporate ladder. But that is not the vision I am looking at. I mean, what kind of human being do you want to be? What do you want people to say about you when you are not there? Who we are should never be tied completely to the profession or vocation we have. Perhaps it is time to do some soul searching to get a vision of who you are in the future. You might even be bold enough to ask who God would want you to be.

Once the vision is established, is there a plan to move toward that vision. Are there concrete action items in you life to move you toward that preferred future? If not, it is time to get pen and paper, or the computer keyboard, out and put together a plan. Then implement that plan, starting today.

Truth be known, I do not think and organization can be changed or even transformed unless the senior leader and other key leaders are personally willing to commit to transforming their lives.

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