A leader's vision
Atlanta Junction, Georgia, United States
Marquardt & Berger (2000) define vision in the context of the attributes and competencies required of the global leader. Specifically they state that “the leader must envision together with his or her fellow employees the type of future world the company desires, one that is exciting and challenging enough to attract and retain the best and brightest of know how workers” (p. 31). Other experts express vision similarly in that a vision always refers to a future state, a condition that does not presently exist, and never existed before (strategy safari). In Hofstede’s (1984) terms this deals with values, the most hidden level of culture as they represent the ideas that people have about how things “ought to be.” A future orientation brings its own cultural bias in that the U.S. envisions the near future, whereas most Asian cultures envision a long-term future, and Latin cultures, such as Mexico are more heavily influenced by the past (O’Hara-Devereaux, & Johansen, 1994).
Developing and articulating a co-created vision that addresses all these differences and thus “speaks” to the majority of people in a complex global entity may seem like an impossibility, however, all cultures understand the primary building block of a vision and that is what “ought to be.” “Ought to be” transcends all cultural barriers in that it becomes the ultimate concern (Hitt, 1996) for the organization as everyone is committed to reaching that goal. Communicating this across multiple audiences with multiple owners of the message will take enormous collaboration. At the strategic level of communication the idea is not to communicate one way to many audiences the idea is to co-communicate the same primary message from a variety of messengers to many audiences through a wide variety of mediums and cultural approaches.
Hitt, W. D. (1996). A global ethic: the leadership challenge. Columbus, OH: Battelle Press.
Hofstede, G. (1984). The cultural relativity of the quality of life concept. Academy of Management review, 389-398.
Marquardt, M. J., & Berger, N. O. (2000). Global leaders for the 21st century. Albany: SUNY Press.
O'Hara-Devereaux, M., & Johansen, R. (1994). Transcending cultural barriers: Context, relationships, and time. Jossey-Bass.