Must Every Organizational Vision be Strategic?

Having devoted much of my research, writing, and teaching to the topic of utopianism, or the allegedly perfect society, I have never felt the need to add “strategic” to “vision.” Nor, to my knowledge, have any other serious scholars and teachers. A serious vision by definition–and by history—should be implicitly strategic.

Indeed, the term has become so overused as to be self-defeating. The same holds true for “stakeholders,” which refers to those with an investment, whether financial or not, in the organization.

I am sure that the same applies to other institutions, but the one I know best, education, overflows with “strategic visions.” It is nowadays taken for granted that every new President, every new dean, and even every department–whether new or not–must detail its blueprint for the future. Not a waste of time and effort, to be sure, but often proved naive or inaccurate or both. The history of utopias would amply demonstrate the need to be cautious.

But as many advocates of “strategic visions” would likely respond, at least read the delightful “Executive Summary.”