A global study on visionary organizations conducted by consultancy firm &samhoud shows that American organizations fall behind in creating an inspiring vision, and in the implementation of that vision throughout all layers of the organization, compared to their Asian counterparts.
Organizations in fast-growing Asian economies, especially, demonstrate a tendency to fully embrace their company vision. Asian managers indicate that the effects of a vision-based organization include a clarity of targets, the growth of customer satisfaction and creativity, and a greater focus on performance.
The global study was conducted amongst 3,000 managers from China, Germany, USA, India, Malaysia, Spain and The Netherlands. Malaysia had the highest percentage of organizations with an inspiring vision (82%), whilst The Netherlands had the lowest (36%).
Salem Samhoud, founder of international consultancy firm &samhoud, said: “Companies with a vision perform better than companies without one. Currently, organizational visions are becoming less focal and applied in the United States, while in Asia they become increasingly strongly implemented. That could easily lead to deterioration of value and the US may lose their leading position in the world.”
Top 5 reasons why visions fail
In the US, the organizational vision is becoming much less part of everyday practice. From the qualitative portion of the study, emerged a top 5 of reasons why a vision fails. This top 5 applies to all countries, including the US:
- Lack of exemplary behavior at the top
- Rapid changes at the top
- Vision is not well communicated
- Vision is not consistently applied
- Visions are not balanced
In Asia, organizational visions are consistently implemented in daily practice.
85% of the Asian respondents indicated that their vision leads to growth of income and profit.
87% of the same respondents confirmed that their vision contributes to higher customer value.
And 84% of the Asian managers surveyed stated that their vision has increased employee involvement.
Compared to these figures, the USA always scored lower, at 64%, 76% and 73%, respectively.
A vision consists of four elements: higher goal (why do we exist), audacious goal (what do we aim for), core values (what do we stand for) and core competences (what do we excel at).
A vision gives direction and motivates employees.
American organizations have a vision but fail to use it
The US was the western country with the highest score of organizational visions; 92% of American managers indicated that their organization has a vision. But, when asked about the effect of the vision in the organization, the American managers surveyed were not very optimistic. Visions in the US were not as distinctive as Asian equivalents, nor did they effect the desired change within the company.
Inspiration and discipline come from the Far East
In Asia, most organizations had an inspiring vision. Malaysia topped the list with 82%. China (73%) and India (69%) were second and third. The USA was ranked in the middle with 58 % and Europe occupied the bottom.
The study showed that Asian organizations take their visions much more seriously; using them as compasses that provide direction. Organizational visions in Asia were far more disciplined, and implemented in daily practices, such as recruitment, reward systems, positioning and strategic goals.
Results of the research indicate that US managers see Apple as the most visionary company.