Words matter. So what is it that we mean with the word vision? What is a Long Term Vision? Many organisations have a vision but how many of them do get your juices flowing?
The Infinite Game
In his book Simon states that leaders who want to flourish in such an Infinite Game need to adopt five essential practices:
- Advance a Just Cause
- Build Trusting Teams
- Study your Worthy Rivals
- Prepare for Existential Flexibility
- Demonstrate the Courage to Lead
A few pages further Simon lists the criteria for a Just Cause. While reading that list and the rationale behind these points I was thinking: I need to share this with all Toyota Kata practitioners.
As we all know, the first step of the Improvement Kata is to Understand the Direction. What I found in my work is that quite often this direction is not clear at all. And also quite often it is finite in nature. Not a good recipe for the Infinite Game of Continuous Improvement.
In The Toyota Way 2001 Toyota talks about both Challenges and Dreams. Challenges are quite common in business but dreams?
I did not catch many business leaders expressing their dreams yet…
Maybe that is the reason why Toyota is putting dreams on the map with their Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.
The dreams that you imagine have the power to change your future. Let’s all think of a better future and connect together to make our dreams come true!From the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest site.
Challenges versus Dreams
There is a very distinct difference between challenges and dreams.
A challenge is something that you want to see come true. A challenge is part of The Finite Game. It has a date. Typically 1-3 years into the future in the context of Toyota Kata.
A dream, on the other hand, does not necessarily need to come true. Preferably not… It may mature while contributing during your life time but if it comes true? So the dreams Toyota is referring to seem to be part of the The Infinite Game.
Vision = Dream = Just Cause
So for me, to really build a Culture of Continuous Improvement, you need a vision that is a Just Cause, a Dream if you dare. Something that is part of The Infinite Game.
And, since words matter, a Just Cause needs a clear definition: