Chapter 7: Part 2 – Sailing on the winds: How to running a company impractically

Let’s start with something relatively easy. Close your eyes and imagine yourself flying.

What do you see? Blue skies and white clouds, or rows of instrument panels? Either way, your right brain is already at work. Imagination is incredibly useful – it brings us emotions. It’s one of the core ways of thinking for The Right-Brained Organization.

Right-Brained Organizations use imagination to write vision statements and let vision drive innovation. But vision-driven isn’t unique to Right-Brained Organizations – Left-Brained Organizations also talk about being vision-driven. But look at what these companies’ vision statements are: “Our company wants to be number one in a certain industry.” What do we see? Positioning theory and numbers. Logic and numbers – typical left-brain thinking. I once corrected this kind of writing, emphasizing that a good vision is a picture. The other party accepted it and changed it: “Our company wants to be the leader in a certain industry.” Well, it’s just that the numbers have changed form.

A truly good vision is user-centered. That is, if the vision is a photo we took when we traveled to the future, then the protagonist of this photo should be the user. It’s the user’s story. “Our company wants to be number one in a certain industry.” This kind of vision statement is common in companies, but obviously it’s our own vision. Although it represents the boss’s ambition and pattern, unfortunately it has little to do with users. If you are an elephant and the user is just an ant, this may not necessarily be a good thing for the user – they may even feel that they are at a disadvantage at the negotiating table.

Good vision statements revolve around user needs. For example, IKEA’s vision statement is “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” Similarly, Walmart’s vision statement is: “Save money and time for people so they can live better!” And Honda’s vision statement is: “Provide ‘the joy of expanding life possibilities’ for everyone.” These vision statements all give us a strong sense of picture and positive emotions.

And for innovative companies, vision isn’t just a company-level job. Every team developing innovative products must also have its own vision. But when we haven’t grown into true leaders yet, we tend to underestimate the power of vision. In fact, true vision is part of strong leadership. Jack Welch, legendary CEO of General Electric, was once asked what makes a good manager? He said: “I prefer to use the term business leader. Business leaders build visions, interpret visions, embrace visions with passion, and relentlessly push for their realization.”

Vision is an important weapon for managers. In managing innovative companies, vision is like sunshine and water – it nourishes everything and is the beginning of everything. A good vision can help an innovative team attract the right people. Innovation always faces more failures – without real passion, it’s hard for people to really stick with it for long. And for talented people, they hope to do something truly meaningful in their lives. Vision can help you attract these talents with common goals. Finding the right person is the prerequisite for all team management work – finding the right person makes all subsequent work easier.

Vision points out direction and is also one of our underlying decision-making criteria. In the process of innovation, encountering failure isn’t terrible – the problem is how we respond and adjust. But without vision, we may gradually deviate from the right direction during adjustment. Vision is like Polaris – in the vast darkness as long as you look up it can point out direction.

But as Welch pointed out, the ability to use vision is a powerful indicator of excellent managers. Therefore, it’s also key to whether a manager can be promoted to senior management positions in the future. And whether or not you can use this tool well depends on being “user-centered” and combining imagination with other “right-brain abilities.” Due to the theme and length of this book I will not go into detail on how to formulate a specific process and method for “vision statements.” If you’re interested in this issue I recommend using the “Vision Canvas” tool. Picture sense and emotion are two factors that traditional organizations easily overlook when drawing up “vision statements.” And these two points are precisely the characteristics of this tool. You can find this canvas tool online along with specific methods on how to use it.

The vision statement isn’t the only way for The Right-Brained Organization to describe its vision. Tesla used another way to “imagine” its vision – they called it the “Master Plan.” Musk successively released three “Master Plans” in 2006, 2016, and 2023, mentioning a series of ideas such as electric cars, solar roofs, and autonomous driving. In the latest third chapter, Musk introduced “the road to a completely sustainable energy future for the earth.” He said: “The road to a sustainable energy earth is clear. It doesn’t require the destruction of natural habitats. It doesn’t require us to become simple, stop using electricity, freeze or anything else.” He added, “In fact, you can support a civilization much larger than Earth, far exceeding the actual sustainable support of 8 billion people on Earth.” As with the first and second chapters when they were released, most people still don’t believe that the third chapter can be realized. But one thing is certain: if Musk’s “Master Plan 3” can be realized, it will be an unprecedented feat in human history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *