Action Assignment 2 – Visioning
1. The most important idea that I learned in Part Two was that having a vision for a company involves specific process, content, and application principles. This idea was a relative surprise to me given the rather abstract and ideal impression the word “visioning” had upon me initially. It was almost as if something termed “visioning” would not involve concrete process steps, particular content, and specific application approaches that could be followed to increase the chances of formulating and executing an effective vision. Before reading Part Two, I believed that visioning would have involved, somehow, inherent and inspiration driven processes that would grow naturally from being a leader and being closely tied to the business and its goals. Instead, after reading the text, I realize that as with almost every aspect of business practice, the value in “visioning” comes by applying a set pattern of analyses to derive specific conclusions that are applied to the particular business at issue. This step-driven and relatively mundane approach contrasts with the initial impression that the term “visioning” carries, at least before reading the content of Part Two.
In particular, I look forward to taking the very specific and concrete guidelines expressed in Part Two and applying them to a real world business. It is exciting to think that my internal values, hopes, and dreams for the business could be made that much more concrete and attainable through the use of the formulation of the vision and the sharing and implementing this vision with others that are working with me. Thus, Part Two provides a type of guidebook of the various methods of successfully transforming very abstract and emotional beliefs about what the business could and should achieve into something much more actionable.
2. The first thing that I have learned that can be directly applied to the position of a director of a small information technology department is the formulation of a vision for the department to strive to attain. In doing so, I would apply the visioning process principles of Stephen Covey provided in the text. The best time for doing so would be either at the formation of the department or at the hiring of the director but it could be done at any time, in theory. The director would take the leadership position of initiating and providing the outlines of the ultimate vision sought. The director would include as many members of the department as possible in the visioning process. Because this is a small department, it would not be unrealistic to include all members of the department in at least some of the stages, particularly the bottom-up review period suggested by Covey. The text provides a very long time frame for the formulation of a vision statement, so the director will need to be patient as the various persons involved provide their input into the final product and at least several months should be expected, even with a small department.
Finally, as stated by the question, the most important aspect is why it makes sense to undertake a visioning project by the director of a small information technology department. This is primarily answered in the next part of the text which discusses what content should be included. Primary is the answer of the question, Why do we exist? It is extremely useful, especially for a small department, to have an easy and transparent understanding of what is the ultimate goal of the their work – to server the business goals of the overall organization. This vision will help support prioritization, decision-making, and goal-setting within the department.