In business, there are companies that thrive while others fail because of their uniqueness, resilience, and quality of service delivery. Such organizations are commonly termed as visionary and they include corporations such as GE, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard among others. Also, there are types of businesses that possess certain characteristics that are unique from the competition that ensures they continue succeeding over the years. Some of the unique traits include defiance of business norms and continuous change aimed at enabling the organizations to meet their short-term and long goals. Normally, such sustained success is anchored on their core ideologies which never changes. Noteworthy, the organizational operational factors change with time. These firms are always planning for long term goals while at the same time taking care of the present needs of their clients and shareholders. One of the main aspect of visional companies that has guaranteed them continuous success is their cultures. In fact, it has the effect of strengthening their stand in the market and enabling them to outlive the tenure of individuals who work for them or products that they sell.
Usually, visionary companies do not have a clear-cut strategy that governs their approach to business. In fact, such businesses are not founded by entrepreneurs with world-changing ideas that can transform lead automatic success. Instead, these firms assume time-proof strategies that enable them to withstand dynamic environments and economies. Also, these corporations repeatedly reshape their ideas in a bid to overcome losses and failures. In fact, some of their best ideas in the past emanated from errors and accidents rather than through pre-determined activities. Interestingly, most of them have continued with this risk-taking culture into the current economy. In these companies, employees are tasked with the responsibility of driving innovation. Such innovators receive incentives as a method of encouraging internal competition within the company. The management normally has the role of motivating and offering support to employees. Additionally, these corporations foster healthy competition within the organizations as a method of rejuvenating old ideas and introducing new ones.
The concept of internal competition is hinged on the Darwinian Theory of evolution which opines that the strong survive while the weak are eliminated. The net effect of this tactic is that only a strong population of organisms remain. In the same way, the best ideas are incorporated while unfeasible ones are discarded. In the end, an innovative culture emerges that is aligned with market movements and the need for profitability (Parda, Westerberg, and Firshammar 283-309). Also, innovation is driven by an urgent need to introduce new ideas. Furthermore, internal competition acts as a motivator for employees in the organizations. One of the main advantages of this competition is that it eliminates complacency that arises when there is no pressure to perform. In addition, the firms never concentrate on external competition and hence the intra-market terrain does not influence their operations.
The management of a company is critical in determining its success. Due to its importance, visionary companies input a lot of efforts in identifying and hiring good managers. Normally, these companies groom their own management talent as opposed to seeking qualified candidates from other firms. These traditions of promoting from within have become a management practice that resembles a continuous training program. The program ensures that there is a group of well-prepared individuals ready to take over the management when one team or member retires (Renko et al. 54-74). Generally, the idea of recruiting from within is driven by the need for ensuring that the top managers are familiar with the core ideologies of the enterprise. As a result, individuals who climb to the top management levels are employees who have been in the company for extended durations of time. Importantly, these managers understand the operational principles and the culture of the company better than outsiders.
Visionary corporations are normally more concerned in the institution as a whole instead of its personnel. To elaborate, these companies invest huge amounts of resources in the promotion of the company’s ideologies and culture which enables them to outlive their employees. In this vein, the firms are never interested in highly regarded managers, but rather those who understand their vision. Therefore, although, their managers are not the most charismatic, b they usually understand the core ideologies pertinent to the business and they aim to perpetuate these traditions. Simply, the management’s primary role is to ensure that the firm’s strategies, culture, and tactics are aligned with the core ideologies of the company. In order to achieve the corporation’ long-term goals, these individuals ensure that the corporation does not deviate from its core ideologies. Therefore, the success of the enterprise is not a direct result of manager’s efforts but the company’s ability to stick to its traditions.
Visionary companies spend a lot of resources in training their staff members and the management team. They also strive to offer conducive work environments that can enable their workers to realize their full potential. However, these companies appreciate the fact that not everyone can fit in their strategy and hence they do not offer the best opportunities to anyone. Furthermore, the workers are under constant pressure to innovate and introduce new ideas. Hence, only the aggressive and self-driven people fit into their corporate culture. Additionally, their internal competition makes it difficult for undeserving candidates to be promoted. In particular, they promote-from-within culture sidelines the underperforming employees while talented staffers steadily climb up the corporate ladder. Eventually, the most suited employees reach the helm of the management and take control of the whole organization.
The workers are introduced to the core ideology of the pertinent firm from the beginning of their employment and they are instructed to align themselves with its decree. Since large firms have diverse work teams, there are always workplace conflicts. However, there is a consensus that although the employees might disagree, they must support each other. This approach helps employees to work as a team and to collaborate in service delivery. Consensus also helps to quell tensions that may exist among peers due to the internal competition that is encouraged by the management (Lonial and Carter 94-113). Besides, employees share their ideas with their fellow workmates and participate in brainstorming sessions that enables them to improve their ideas while boosting cooperation. This workplace strategy builds teamwork and equips workers with relevant organizational skills, as opposed to leadership skills that are common in other conventional companies. The teamwork strategy is also pegged on the core principles that govern the company.
Key investment areas of visionary companies
Most of the goals adopted by visionary companies are long-term and hence they invest heavily in the future. Normally, the firms dedicate a large portion of their resources to equipment, new technologies, personnel, and innovative managers. Besides, the companies always make sure that they have the best equipment required to manufacture high-quality products. Interestingly, these firms act as research centers where new technology is developed and refined over time, a factor that ensures they remain competitive. Therefore, these companies act as innovators of new technology instead of acquiring it from other firms.
In order for these firms to achieve their goals, they invest a lot of their resources on research and development. Moreover, they incur these expenditures even in situations where research may have little impact on short-term profits. Long term investment is considered more important than short term gains because the main goal of visionary companies is longevity. Also, attention is dedicated to the institution rather than its products. For instance, visionary firms have a reputation for introducing new products that perform better than similar items from ordinary firms. In general, it can be concluded that the branding activities undertaken by visionary companies ensure that their sustainability is not swayed by vagaries of the market.
There are a lot of myths on visionary companies regarding the things that they do differently from other organizations. In most cases, it is assumed that these companies are unique because they were started on a great idea that led to immense success. On the contrary, these companies endure difficulties and failures just like other enterprises. Their strategies are the ones that make them resilient. For instance, these firms invest heavily in the future with total disregard of current market movements. They also spend a lot of resources in research with the aim of identifying new ways of satisfying their consumers. Their workers are also trained to adhere to the core ideologies that drive the firms while at the same being encouraged to innovate and come up with new ideas. The strategy of planning for long-term investments in technology and training personnel makes companies to stand out and to dominate the market for extended periods of time.
Lonial, Subhash and Robert, Carter. “The Impact of Organizational Orientations on Medium and Small Firm Performance: A Resource-Based Perspective.” Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 53, issue 1, 2015, pp. 94-113.
Parda Vinit, Mats Westerberg, and Johan, Firshammar. “Inbound Open Innovation Activitiesin High-Tech SMEs: The Impact on Innovation Performance.” Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 50, issue 2, 2012, pp. 283-309.
Renko, Maija, Ayman, El Tarabishy, Alan, L. Carsrud, and Malin, Brannback. “Understanding and Measuring Entrepreneurial Leadership Style.” Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 53, issue 1, pp. 54-74.