The ‘Vision’ Thing

Does it matter to you what your company stands for?

I was speaking with Henry, a successful freelance consultant in business organisation.

And in middle age, a new issue has arisen for him: the ethics of the companies he works for.

And it’s a serious matter for Henry, because in the short-term, it’s meaning less work in the pipeline, which can be a worry.

It’s not that companies aren’t knocking on his door; they are. He’s in demand.

But the question is: does he want to work for them?

This is the nub of his dilemma: if he doesn’t like their vision, why would he want to offer his services to them?

‘I left one multi-national because I merely felt I was deepening the darkness, making them stronger,’ he said.

How we relate to flawed organisations is an interesting question.

I have worked both for, and with, many organisations and I’ve never met one that is healthy to the core.

Organisations are neither good nor bad; instead, like humans, they’re not black or white – they’re speckled; health sits alongside ill-health in all of them.

I remember working with a famous charity. They were out there doing marvellous work for the vulnerable; yet they treated their staff appallingly.

Health and ill-health in one organisation…speckled.

While some organisations are no doubt healthier than others, the perfect one doesn’t exist. And if it does exist, don’t join it – you’ll only ruin it!

So does the vision of my company matter?

Perhaps we feel it doesn’t. Perhaps we feel that we’re a little light in the darkness; that just our being there makes a difference:

‘I can’t change the world but I can change my little corner of it.’

Or perhaps I don’t care about the vision, as long as they pay me.

A premier league footballer recently pledged his lifetime loyalty to his home town club – and then two weeks later – offered a 200% pay rise – left to join a massively-resourced club 200 miles away, who wanted him as a squad player.

The vision of the company is certainly a factor for some; but then so is the quality of the management. Our experience with The Mind Clinic is that poor management is the single most influential factor in individuals deciding to leave.

For Henry, though, it’s all about the questions.

‘I’ve changed, he said. ‘If they won’t allow me to ask the questions I want to ask, then I won’t work with them. If they don’t want my questions, they don’t want to change. So what would I be doing there?’