This leader knew that his operation needed to change, but things seemed bleak. He couldn’t even identify what a positive vision might look like.

The Challenge

Earnings at a plant were down. Given the highly competitive global environment, it appeared that this downward trend would continue. This put the plant at risk with its parent company. Instead of tying up assets in this plant, the parent could choose to sell it – or even close it! The general manager believed that either of these outcomes would be bad for the people working for him. And yet, he realized that it is difficult to get people motivated with a negative vision.

The Opportunity

We tried an experiment. My client and I wanted to see if there was a more positive vision that could be used to guide the company. (It was an experiment because neither of us knew for sure whether they would be able to identify something positive to shoot for.)

The Results

I worked closely with the senior team in an attempt to create a vision that worked for them. I applied a few techniques to get them to think differently about the situation facing them. As a result of their willingness to engage in these activities, a vision started to form. They honed it over for a couple of weeks. And for the past few years, it has been used throughout the organization as a way to focus the direction of the work.

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