Having a vision of innovation is exciting. Someone has a vision and then shares that vision with their team. But how do they get everyone on board? How can you share that vision?
Murfield Coaching works with individuals and organizations to solve significant problems through innovative thinking. We use our own unique perspective built upon the best business strategy, cutting-edge research and practical application to magnify your unique value and empower you to live your individual and professional dreams. Our clients most appreciate our emphasis on building employee engagement, alleviating employee trauma, and unleashing disruptive innovation. Our research shows that innovation occurs most often within a cutting-edge organizational culture.
Last week we discussed the eight aspects of a cutting-edge culture. In this post we detail the importance of having a cutting-edge vision and how to engage that vision with your team.
What Do You See?
Great innovative leaders seem to have a crystal ball and see into the future. What do they see what others don’t? How do they see it?
Many see the world without the persistent problem. They may envision a world of absence of pain, struggle or evil. Even though they cannot see exactly how, when or where, they have a vision of freedom from that problem.
Some see the world from a different perspective. They willingly shift to consider the current world from a seldom viewed angle. Where others see the status quo, they see a new opportunity.
Still others track trends and look ahead to see where that trend will take them. They see the world incrementally or exponentially better. At some point in the future, they see an opportunity to do what they ultimately desire.
Then there are those that look to the past and see opportunities for the present and the future. They re-imagine what others have discarded.
Still others see exciting opportunities to do what they have always wanted to do. These “bucket list” desires are tucked away in the not too distant part of their brains, waiting for the right opportunity.
In the midst of it all, leaders see opportunities to solve problems. They make the world better by making it more enjoyable, less stressful, or simply easier. That is critical to sharing the vision with their team.
In my 3rd book, Now What? Secrets to Sensing New Opportunities When You Need Them Most, I detail how Tough Times helps us to expand our vision.
Embracing Your Dream
In my first book, Chevettes to Corvettes, I detail how a dream is the wispy, emotional beginning of an engaging idea for what could be. It is the bud that blossoms into a vision with the proper attention.
Most leaders don’t use the word “dream” as it has connotations of wasted time thinking about unicorn and pink elephant fantasies. Instead they choose to focus on the “reality” of business.
I disagree. Dreams drive innovation. Dreams are those emotional aspects of our lives that propel us further than we would proceed on logic alone. Left alone, they are mere daydreaming. However, when they are engaged with effort and logic, they develop into valuable innovations.
Look into any great innovator and you will find what drives them. It might be the a competitive desire to be the first or a curiosity that is fanned into a flame. The dream is that airy, fragile imagination that intrigues and then drives us to do what we have never done. That requires that we not just think or talk about the dream but to take action. That requires building a team and sharing the vision.
Dreams are also very critical and world changing when we pass through difficult times. As I explain in Making More Money in Tough Times and The ROI of Compassion, We can dream when we when we can do nothing else. Paralyzed by trauma, we dream of what used to be and how we wished it could be. Those dreams keep us sane and somewhat balanced in those terrifying times. But they also do something much more powerful. They drive us to take action. Many leaders have changed the world because they suffered and had a dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. uttered those famous words, “I have a dream” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial out of the pain of slavery. It was that dream that drove him and many others to do what others never thought possible.
What is your dream?
Developing the Vision
Your dream becomes an innovative vision when you apply the logic, give it detail, and work to make it reality. The dream drives but the vision forges the future. The vision is the blueprint for the change.
Anyone who has built their dream house dreams of an experience. That dream becomes reality when they give the dream detail for each room. The dream begins to take shape when the architect draws up the plans, determining the size of each room and drawing up the plans. The designer then adds the pizzazz with the colors, furnishings and landscaping.
Notice the two steps. First, the architect makes the dream functional. The architect ensures the dream is safe and functional in reality. They work out the minute details. Second, the designers work to find exactly the right colors for each room, plants for each bed, stonework, and all the other details inside and outside the house.
In the end, the dream becomes the vision when the plan is detailed.
How detailed is your vision?
Sharing the Vision
Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream. He didn’t hide it, or simply enjoy it. One of the first questions I ask my executive coaching clients is, “What is your dream?” They are often puzzled, expecting to think more logically. They are also a bit hesitant to share what they ultimately desire. That all changes when we work to develop that dream into their vision. Developing that vision gives them the confidence to share that vision with their team.
Sharing is a critical component. for creating a cutting-edge culture. We build teams because we cannot do great things by ourselves. We are wise to remember that the best innovative teams are engaged, committed and in sync with a vision that they embrace. In other words, they share our vision. Sharing is “taking part in” an experience.
This is critical.
Sharing is not telling them what to embrace. Instead, sharing is voluntarily joining someone else, giving of ourselves, working together. Sharing is not demanding obedience. MLK’s speech was so powerful because he shared a dream that millions of Americans already embraced. In the same way, innovative leaders share their vision in a way that taps into the dreams of their team. They know what they are building and are willing to freely share it with their team.
Sharing implies openness, transparency and, to some degree, vulnerability. Innovation is not an exact science and there will be mistakes. Being vulnerable means setting aside judgment and punishment. To share a vision is to welcome an opportunity to attempt something that has not been done before, at least within your organization.
Share your vision with your team to build the collaboration and camaraderie necessary to create.
How willing are you to share? How willing is your team to share?
Engaging Your Team
Engagement is being totally involved, committed and willing. Innovative leaders create cutting-edge cultures by sharing their dreams and vision but also by encouraging their team to share. That requires a safe environment. No one shares if they are criticized or punished.
We all know that collaboration requires sharing of ideas. There is a communal atmosphere saturated with individual accolades. We work together for a common goal and even share resources but give credit where credit is due. There isn’t a competitive, cut throat “me first’ mentality but rather a synergistic, pooling of talents and energy. That vulnerability is a closely held value.
In my research, I have found that cutting-edge cultures have employees who are willing to share their dreams and those dreams are celebrated. They have all bought into and share the corporate vision but that comes because the vision fits their dreams. We each have dreams for how we want our lives to be. When a team member sees how that corporate vision fits their dream, they are engaged.
Unfortunately, too many organizations fail to see the value of those individual dreams. They violate those individual visions of success by squeezing all the creativity and vulnerability out and creating a sterile workplace. No wonder they don’t innovate.
First, innovative organizations have a vision of doing what has never been done before.They see a new world and are compelled to make that vision a reality.
- What is your dream?
- How will it change the world?
- When will you share it with your team?
(c) 2019 Murfield International, Inc.
DO the IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Loren Murfield, Ph.D.
I enjoy helping individuals develop their dreams into innovative realities. Contact us today to begin building your disruptive vision and the cutting-edge culture that will solve significant problems.
Start learning how you can engage employees during their most traumatic moments in our newly revised and just-released book, “The ROI of COMPASSION.” Watch for the formal release of our new book, “Leading with the Power of Compassion” in late 2019. (Soft release at the SHRM19 conference in June.)