September 22. “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision and a task are the hope of the world.” (Quote on a church wall in Sussex, England)
In my years of doing process improvement work, and promoting better project management discipline, I have seen many visions and standards. I learned some years ago that for a new process or standard to be successfully implemented, there has to be both a vision and a set of tasks to make it real.
If I set up a set of new procedures without clearly explaining why they are important, then those new procedures are just seen as bureaucracy. People may or may not adopt them, and the likelihood of adoption goes down dramatically the more that the new procedure differs from how people presently do their jobs.
If a new vision of success is rolled out, but there are no concrete procedures to implement it, then the vision becomes wispy, the stuff of dreams. The vision, no matter how powerful, will fail to move anyone in a new direction if there aren’t concrete steps for them to take.
But, when the two come together, when there is a clear vision of success, with concrete, well thought out steps, then real change can occur. When I have laid out a vision that captures the hearts of people, and the steps that capture their minds and hands, then I have been successful at implementing change.
The same is true in my everyday life. When I have a vision that is accompanied by concrete steps – a plan – then real change can happen and that vision can become a reality.
Today my reflection is on which areas of my life might be in the drudgery column, and which might be only in the dream column. What vision do I have that is lacking in the concrete? And what things am I doing without clearly understanding why they are important? Where do I need to wed the world of vision to the world of action to promote the world of hope?