Visionary Thinking

New Zealand Management, May 2008 | Go to article overview

Visionary Thinking


Here's a refreshingly different way to create an organisational vision and mission statement--paint it, don't write it.

That is exactly what Kerridge and Partners, an aggressively growing three-year-old Auckland-based executive search and leadership development consultancy has done.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The company sees itself as a "next generation" search firm so, in the words of its founding director Peter Kerridge, it has adopted next-generation strategic visioning, planning and execution processes.

Out of this mindset came the idea to paint a vision statement rather than slavishly struggle to wordsmith a sentence or two that not everyone can buy into and which also runs the risk of being constantly forgotten or seldom referred to.

"This approach provided a way to en gage the whole team in the (visioning) process," says Kerridge. "We now have a graphic vision of the business which includes most of the key components of our present approach and aspects of our future, both seen and unforeseen. Everyone can look at this painting and say 'I contributed that'."

The company employed an external artist who spent a day off-site with employees, partners and the firm's non-executive director to render a concept which, as it happens, includes key words.

Kerridge partner Chris Johnson thinks the process de-coupled the management jargon of visioning and allowed everyone in the enterprise to "draw a picture of the organisation's future and what it means to them".

"Vision statements are often jargonistic. People say it, but don't live it," he adds.

Kerridge thinks written vision statements disenfranchise as many people as they embrace.

Kerridge and Johnson saw the process as a catalyst for establishing the company's strategic plan. …

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