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Views from the Prairie

September 21

New Vision of Business

Do you have a vision for your business? In many cases, we find that making the vision happen is a lot harder than we thought. Often, we have to do personal growth as well as change how the business is operating in order to make the vision happen. Often, we have to repeatedly take actions in order to bring a new vision to a business.

The vision has to identify what makes us different. Copycat companies never thrive. Instead, any second company has to try harder, work more to satisfy the customers, and identify places where other companies are not meeting the needs. The vision has to provide direction for action and guidance for decisions throughout the organization.

Many a new CEO comes in and tries to impose a new vision for the business. In most cases, the business resists that vision. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, engineers challenged him because of the changes that he was making. IBM went through several CEO's before finding one that was able to transform the company.

The challenges are not just about the vision. Many of the challenges are about the person and their character. When we lack consistency in our character, that inconsistency will be seized upon as reason to resist changes.

Making a vision happen often means first changing ourselves so that we are consistent in intentions, values, and actions. Our consistency in values and actions communicates our vision far more than any speeches, emails, or posters.

Vision and mission statements often get written, hung on the wall, and then slowly drained of any significance as top management totally ignores them in their pursuit of prestige and profit. For a vision to be have power, top management has to use that vision as a guide to making decisions even when following it costs money, prestige, and causes missed performance goals. It helps when the management team is rated on whether they are following the vision above meeting financial goals.

Visions have to be sold to the others. A new vision means everyone has to change. They need to know how this vision offers them a better future than what they had before. Sometimes, this means rebuilding the team.

Visions have to be sold to the customers. Some customers may no longer fit the vision. A good vision includes identifying who the new customers will be and how to connect with them.

One of the best ways to sell a new vision is to share success stories. People learn via stories far more than hearing any dry lectures. We share what worked and how things can work for us.

We also need to have strong accountability across the organization. The more spread out we are, the easier it is for one person to destroy the whole vision through wrong actions.

Our vision sets our future.

Learner or Knower

Are you a "know it all" in your company? Does everyone come to you for the answers? Or are you the one always asking questions? Learners are always asking questions and always willing to listen to learn and are willing to change their behavior based on what they learn.

There are those who think they need to give an answer to everything. They talk all the time. They give answers to questions that haven't been asked. Sometimes, they even are correct. Other times, their statements only confuse the situation further.

The confident person "explaining" everything to everyone has sometimes tried to explain things to the expert. Some of the examples of such have included a lawyer trying to use a book against a witness when the witness was one of the authors of that book. Or a guy explaining to someone they should read a certain expert only to have that someone state that she was that certain expert. Others have tried to tell Olympic medal winners how to do the basics of their sport (and were wrong).

When we think we already know, we are not open to learning anew. Companies that operate as if their way is always best never change with the times no matter how much new knowledge some people get.

In a world where the changes are coming faster and faster, learning is paramount. We need to keep learning new concepts, new techniques, and even new fields of knowledge. More importantly, we need to identify what changes we have to make to our own lives and to how the company operates. We question everything asking what needs to change.

Always be learning.

Risky World

GitHub is a place where many programmers store their code. The place offers an AI "Copilot" to evaluate code based on existing code in storage. However, many of the suggestions are buggy or bad designs from a security stand point. The AI suggestions probably come from existing buggy code and existing bad designs. AI garbage in - garbage out.


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