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The View from Your Mountaintop?

June 2009by Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D.


Vision. All companies need it. And because the word has so many meanings, companies often get their vision mixed up with their mission, purpose, and values. Author Jim Collins likens corporate vision to a distant mountaintop. With focus and perseverance, you can get to the top. It might take 10 or 20 years, but it is achievable. In the 1960s, NASA's vision was to put a man on the moon. And they did it. They climbed that mountaintop. The agency later ran into problems in part because they didn't envision or vividly articulate the next mountaintop.

There's a saying in the Koran that if you know not where you're going, any path will take you there. Your vision gives you not just direction, but motivation, focus, and conviction. In our vision consulting work, we've found these four questions reveal to organizations what mountain they ought to climb. Try it. Imagine it's the year 2030, and you're on your mountaintop, aware of all you've achieved.

  1. It's your annual Board Meeting – what accomplishments will you be talking about?
  2. You're the cover story in the Wall Street Journal (or substitute the most influential journal in your field). What's it about?
  3. What are your partners, investors, and customers most amazed about?
  4. What are you and your people most proud of?

Now, come back to the present. What mountaintop are you currently aspiring to reach?

Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.
ResearchWorks, Inc.
12396 World Trade Drive
Suite 313
San Diego, CA 92128

Phone 858-487-8200
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