Dreaming the Vision Drives the Best Strategic Plans in Business and at Work

During her homily today at a service celebrating the life and contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Margret O’Neall, an organizational transformation subject-matter expert (SME), observed that Rev. King’s ability to so meaningfully articulate his vision – e.g., among many his inspirational messages, his I Have a Dream speech – was critical to inspiring the work of the 1960’s Civil Rights movement.  “How effective would Dr. King have been,” Rev. Margret observed, “if he instead had titled his speech I Have a Strategic Plan?” As a strategic planning geek / facilitator myself, I especially loved her analogy, laughing out loud.  And his dream – his strategic vision of what life would be like once civil rights were achieved – is truly beautiful:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

As we all create or refresh our respective strategic plans in the early days of this new year – business, career, organizational – remember first to take the time to dream and envision the end-state of those plans, a values-driven vision of where your plan will take you, practicing Covey’s Begin with the End in Mind.

Because in my experience (and in our collective experience), dreaming the vision absolutely drives the implementation of the best strategic plans, in business and at work.

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