Sunday, November 18, 2007

What is a "vision" anyway??

I hate bizspeak. Whenever I here people start to talk about "leveraging synergies" and "forging meaningful alliances with stakeholders" I tend to shudder a bit. One of the things that used to drive me crazy was the idea of a company "vision" - I always thought that this was just a lot of wasted words. At one company I worked at, we had a focus group to do some divergent thinking about a new visions statement, that was already way too wordy, and it all just seemed so silly.

But a while back, I heard a great story about a man who was teaching a seminar to top executives about strategic planning and visioning. He walked in with plastic ziplock bags full of puzzle pieces - not difficult puzzles - but those 150 pieces kids puzzles of some ghastly scene from Walt Disney World or something. There was nothing else in the bags but puzzle pieces. He threw a bag on each table and told the executives to assemble the puzzles, and started a timer. The executives were all senior types, very smart and capable, and so set to the the task with enthusiasm. The fastest table managed to do their puzzle in about 1o minutes, with the last one, not too far behind at about 15 minutes.

The teacher congratulated them on their brilliance. And then he told them that the night before, he had given the same puzzle to his two children, aged 7 and 9. The kids had never seen the puzzle before, but nevertheless, they had managed to complete the puzzle in only 8 minutes - faster than the best table of senior execs. "The difference," said the teacher, "is that i gave the kids the puzzle in its box instead of in a ziplock bag. On the front of the box was the picture of what the puzzle was supposed to look like when it was finished."

That picture on the front of the box is the "vision". For some reason, this was the most clear explanation I have ever heard of for the elusive concept of a vision - it just made a lot of sense to me. Oh, you can get where you need to go without one - with brains and work, you're bound to have some success. But imagine the heights you can climb to if everyone is working from the same picture, and they all have it clear, right there in front of them! I realize now why some successful business people are called "visionaries"...

Ok, ok - so not the most interesting blog ever! WE all gotta have off days - what can I tell you?? So leave me a nasty message - I do my best writing when i am pissed off. lol



Richy Brynner said...

Del, I enjoy your articles.
Even the ones you write on a "off" day.
Please go on.

Sekioh Sachs said...

Actually, I think thats some of the best inspirational pieces that you fit in your posts every so often.

Over the last month I've been kicking myself for not investing with you earlier, but admittedly I'm still only intermediate trader and you looked just like all the rest of the 'good' performers on WSE, and now its too late to get in with you. The reason its too late is all my moneys down the tubes with Tao, and while I didn't hold a account with Midas for balances, I did throw a bit toward MGB and MFM back when it looked good and had been holding on that for a while.

So yeah, seen that sort of circumstance with the baggies of pieces, used in a church teen youth group back when, but didn't have such an elegant meaning to doing it that way. So... "What is your vision?" :P hehe

Dice babii said...

absolutly brilliant :))
a clear vision of visions :))

Delicious Demar said...

thanks so much for the comments...

that is a great question - what IS my vision?? It will have to wait for the next blog, though. I am sitting in a crappy hotel room on an old laptop, and missing my own bed. lol. I will think about it and make a post as soon as i can think of something that doesn't sound too silly.