The results of a survey of one thousand five hundred executives illustrate how the need to create an inspiring vision creates a tremendous challenge for executives. When asked to identify the most important characteristics of effective strategic leaders, 98 percent of the executives listed “a strong sense of vision” first. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the executives expressed serious doubts about their own ability to create a vision (Quigley, 1994). Not surprisingly, many organizations do not have formal visions. Many organizations that do have visions find
that employees do not embrace and pursue the visions. Having a well-formulated vision employees embrace can therefore give an organization an edge over its rivals.
Table 2.1 The Big Picture: Organizational Vision An organization’s vision describes what the organization hopes to become in the future. Visions highlight the
values and aspirations that lay at the heart of the organization. Although visions statements have the potential to inspire employees, customers, and other stakeholders, vision statements are relatively rare and good visions are even rarer. Some of the visions being pursued by businesses today are offered below.
Alcoa To be the best company in the world–in the eyes of our customers, shareholders, communities andpeople.
Avon To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needswomen–globally.
Chevron To be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance.
Google To develop a perfect search engine.
Kraft Foods Helping people around the world eat and live better.
Proctor and Gamble Be, and be recognized as, the best consumer products and services company in the world.