Vision Stmt Examples LO1955

Gary and Lilly Evans (
06 Jul 95 09:29:04 EDT

Replying to LO1931 --

> I am looking for examples of truly visual, future-oriented visions,
> and it would be a pleasure to see some non-profit or non-private
> or non-US/UK examples (or more than one non-... at the same time).

Steen, thank you for raising this question. However, I would like to ask
you to help us address it. As someone from Denmark, you clearly have more
access to organisations in Nordic countries. They include companies like
Oticon, the hearing aids producers talked about by Tom Peters and European
Commission and subject of last year COS case study (COS=Centre for
Organisational Studies, based in Barcelona) among others. An even bigger
example is ABB (Swedish/Swiss company) with operations practically all
over the world. More striking is Stora, from Sweden, the world's oldest
company (celebrated 700 years of existence).

As for non-profit organisations, it has recently been recognised in the UK
business community (at least according to an article in Financial Times)
that they have a lot to learn from non-profits. This was particularly
true with respect to their ability to adapt to changing circumstances -
something we tend to call organisational learning in this forum.

It may also be worth changing the spectacles we put on when we look at
these issues. Why constrain ourselves to single orgainsations? The
examples from whole communities can be quite enlightening here. I am
particularly thinking of the small business tie-ups in the Emilia-Romagna
region of Italy. Its economic miracle has been documented in a very large
scale social experiment encompassing the whole of Italy over the period of
two decades from 1970's onwards. You can find more about it in the book
by Robert Putnam (prof. at Harvard University) "Making Democracy Work:
Civic Traditions in Modern Italy". One of the main findings from this
work has been the recognition of the existence of what Putnam termed
"social capital".

As I understand it, the sources for social capital are:
- trust
- reciprocity, and
- dense social networks.

It turns out that this particular region of Italy has a very strong and
long established miriad of mutual aid associations. The associations that
act in an inclusive manner. This has not only built trust over hundreds
of years, but also unabled the civic regions of Italy to invent credit.

In the recent book by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps "The Age of
Networks" you can find many more examples on this theme, including
differing cases of Silicon Valey and Massacussets. I also understand that
Denmark has studied and applied principles of social capital, particularly
in the furniture and food industries. Please help us with these.

I for one would like to hear about the cases that do not get written
about, where perhaps what people do locally is taken for granted and seen
as quite normal. Yet, in the global context, it may well be that small
ingedient, the catalyst, that makes it all happen.


lilly evans

"Nothing influences our ability to cope with the difficulties of existence so much as the context in which we view them; the more contexts we can choose between, the less do the difficulties appear to be inevitable and insurmountable." Theodore Zeldin