How to Cultivate Visionary Leadership On A Daily Basis
You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.’
– Alvin Toffler
As leaders, sometimes we can become so busy with our heads down, getting things done, that we can forget to look up and see how the world is changing around us.
In today’s volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous business environment, it’s important to use the leadership quality of vision, to gather information and make a critical assessment of whether we’re still heading in the right direction, so we can make adjustments if necessary and take advantages of opportunities in a more agile way.
Take BlackBerry for example. It was one of the most revolutionary smartphone products when it was introduced to the market by Research in Motion (“RIM“), whose founder Mike Lazaridis was a technology pioneer. Even from the early 1990s, he had a vision of people being ‘always connected’ via handheld devices.
RIM’s share of the global smartphone market peaked at just over 20% in 2009, but has since rapidly declined to just 0.2% in 2016. Where did it go wrong?
Among a variety of factors, the main one is that BlackBerry’s success had been based on business people using their devices primarily for emails and text messages, whereas the customer insights showed that users – even in business – liked bigger screens without physical keyboards for browsing the internet and social media.
RIM could have stayed true to Lazaridis’ vision while changing tactics, but initially they stuck to their focus on email and tactile keyboards and weren’t fast enough to respond to the changing consumer preferences.