The Strategic Vision Sets the Tone

by Jan Yuill

Last week I was listening to an interveiw on my favourite radio station ( while driving home from a meeting.

The person being interviewed was explaining the reasons for several people losing their right to call themselves by a certain job classification. The designation was created in 2003, she said, and since then the need for certain essential qualifications had become evident to protect the popultation being served. It was a very solid case of an organization attending to the standards of Resource Managment in order to ensure high quality Customer Service.

But the interviewee sounded defensive and almost argumentative.

It left me wondering if the Strategic Vision of the organization was phrased, or understood, in a positive light. Wording can be everything. If we see ourselves as trying to prevent bad things from happening, then we tend to be on the lookout for bad things. If we see ourselves as trying to promote the good, then we tend to look for and celebrate the good.

If this interviewee understood the interview as an opportunity to share new information and explain how new standards had come about, perhaps she would have relaxed and enjoyed herself and helped to promote the new thinking that she so obviously is wanting to foster.

Check your Strategic Vision. Does it have mostly stopping, preventing, avoiding, and reducing terminology? Or does it have promoting, teaching, growing, and encouraging wording? And how is that reflected in the work your people are doing – i.e. how does it affect your Membership Potential?