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A Structure of Psychological Aspirations for Organizations Published: Sunday, February 11, 2007 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

Developing a sense of the future is an important component in the strategic management process for any institutional system. People in all types of organizations have a interest in the future of the system, and believe that leaders should give reasonable answers to questions such as: How the institution will look like 10 years into the future?; What organizational values can we be committed to?; What changes can we expect in the next year or two?; What are we expected to achieve over the time period?

 A vision is chosen direction, which is the product of leaders developing a mental image of a possible and desired future state for the institution.  This image is a vision and may be very comprehensive as a dream or as precise as a goal or a mission expression.  The critical point is that the vision articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organization, a condition that is better in some important ways than what exists at present.

 A vision for an institution is regarded as the ideal future state of the institution and has to be realistic, credible, attractive, and should provide a bridge from the present to the future.  Such a vision is essential for strategy formulation, since what the institution decides to do must be related with what it wants to achieve.  The development of a vision is a main responsibility of the institution leader’s, since it is a logical antecedent to strategy development, as well as major and huge motivator for employees and stakeholders.  To obtain this a vision must be communicated and internalized by all employees.  An example is the following:  “Our global guest is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer”. We are referring to a kind of formidable structure of psychological aspirations, composed of VISION, MISSION, VALUES AND OBJECTIVES.

The value refers to the belief of leaders, which by responsibility guide the organization.  Explicit values statements will include guidance on how the people, employees, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders will be treated.  Again, values should provide guidelines for behavior.

Missionspecifies the domain of the institution, where and how it elects to compete.  It specifies the general activity of the organization, its reason for existence, what the organization is obliged to do with superb quality.  It permits the person who reads it to understand what the organization is all about and what it does not do.  The mission statement should clarify the vision and provide a concrete direction that helps establish congruence among the actions of all its members.  Sometimes it points to the priorities among its key stakeholders and embrace a commitment to them.

Objectives are targets to be achieved by the organization and all its units.  They are typically specified in quantitative terms of what is expected to achieve in the short term and longer term.  Some organizations have a hierarchy of objectives, which cascade down from the corporate level to the business units and beyond.  They include both financial and non financial objectives and represent the accomplishments that leaders believe must be attained in order to fulfill the mission and achieve the vision that has been established.


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