Everything is created twice. First is in the mind of the creator or inventor before the thing is materialized. Second is when the thing is materialized in its final form: be it a tangible thing (like a cellular phone, car, etc) or an intangible thing (like cleaning service, insurance, banking, etc). When we talk about the first creation, it definitely deals with what we call a vision – someone’s foresight about the future. This is something about the ability to see the unseen (for most other people) future. It’s like a dream basically – it depicts someone crazy desire(s) for the future. Who had ever predicted that the boy that did daily trading of goods and merchandize in the commuting train between two cities had finally changed the world due to his dream and vision? The boy was Thomas A. Edison who invented light-bulbs and other hundred patented inventions. It started with a vision!
One day in 1932, Konosuke Matsushita saw a tramp in the street of Tokyo tapping a water to drink. Since that experience he contemplated himself and came out with a strong conviction and belief about the concept of “abundance”, ie. Mankind should search for new inventions to create better life for others in the lowest possible cost. He built Matsushita with this concept and planted a 250 Years Corporate Strategy! (Please note, this is beyond the life of typical human-being!). In one of business deals he purchased a patent item in electronic radio and made it free to the world to copy because he has a conviction to lower the cost for all so that everyone on planet earth would enjoy the inventions. What a fabulous dream man ….!!! [I still remember this story vividly in my mind since I read and analyzed the Matsushita case during my MBA class, from the book by Henry Mintzberg “The Strategy Process” – what a great and memorable book man …!! You must have it!]
The best vision should focus on three things, as I understand from knowledge searching through practices and reading hundred of books on how great companies sustain their competitiveness. Those three things are: 1. it should focus on operations, 2. it must be measurable 3. it must challenge the competition. You know what is the best example on this? It’s FedEx man! Yeah … my prog mate Hardiansyah Rizal – who was FedEx Country Manger and now is stationed in Singapore for greater responsibility (but less prog music – pity you, Rizal!) would be happy hearing this. Oh yes … because this example came to me early nineties when the Re-Engineering buzzwords overdosed business leaders at the time. Remember that time? FedEx vision at its infancy was simple and very straight forward: We deliver your package next day by 10:30. It’s clear that this vision focus on operations (deliver your package); measurable (next day by 10:30) and it challenge the industry competition (at the time it was tough to deliver one day).
The other example that shows the importance of vision is about instant noodle. Thirty years ago Indofood mentioned that they wanted to be the largest instant noodle producer in the world. People were laughing at it at the time. Why? By the time China had already the largest producer while Indonesia was none compared to them. What happen today? Indofood is the largest producer of instant noodle in the world! That’s the power of strong and clear vision man! This story on Indofood was energetically shared by my MBA guru, my motivational guru, and my best friend Pak Max Makahinda – motivational leader in one of luncheons that we regularly meet. Thanks pak Max!
So man … it’s clear, I think, that first important part is “the” vision. Don’t play around with it if you wanna succeed and win in life! If you don’t have it yet, you’d better stop working now, go to a silent place where you can spend fulltime with yourself for self-contemplation and strategize your future. Do it NOW! If you need to find good music to contemplate, find it through my review in Progressive Mind by clicking this:
As Stephen Covey put nicely in his Seven Habits book: you must have your personal mission statement. Jack Welch said: “Control your destiny! Or … someone else will!”.
This article describes the first character of my VALUE proposition. Remember it? Yeah .. you got it man! Vision and Action Lead Us toxcellence! Bingo! I will come back to you with the next one about Action. (Gatot Widayanto, June 2005)