Have visions become more important than reality?
It seems like you can’t make it through the day anymore without hearing someone in a leadership role speak about their vision for the future. Somehow, being a visionary has become more important than being a good leader and executing a well thought out and realistic plan to accomplish a goal. Lost is the fact that a vision left unrealized is just a pleasant dream. A vision unburdened by the complexities of reality is a euphoric notion.
Visions need to have a reality metric that includes the time, energy, resources and risk required to bring the current state into the envisioned state. However, those with vision are seldom held accountable for their ability to execute a vision. It is not until the innovation and work associated with turning the vision into a reality are accomplished that a vision is anything more than an idle thought.
Sadly, it seems with the short cycle of many leadership roles that the “new vision” brought in is often not achievable in the length of the leadership term. Consequently, you wind up with whole organizations chasing vision after vision, and no vision accountability. An unfortunate partner in this phenomena is the willingness of subordinates to pander to the vision of a leader in hopes of career advancement. Group vision chasing seems to have a higher priority than quality of product, production rate, creativity in problem solving, or work ethic.
On the up-side, it is fun to watch a misguided vision ripple run down several oracle whips in parallel. It is amazing to see the amount of misinterpretation, false significance, and distortion is given to the visions of others. Occasionally, if these false truths appear to be popular, or turn out to be true, then miraculously the visionary will often support the new notion as “what I really meant”.
So, I am curious if anyone else in the TED world have a vision accountability metric or strategy?