Vision Mission Compassion, the book and the bookosphere
On October 18 2007, my book Vision, Mission, Compassion was presented at my faculty in Utrecht. Since then, we, the triad – Luuk van Leeuwen, Kees Winkel and Hans Dijkstra – of ‘making the book possible, have received pretty nice reviews. Here is a brief introduction. In the near future, I may add text and more pictures. Please let me know what you think of it. If you want to purchase a copy, go to van Gorcum, Management Boek or Bol.com.
The book, 120 pages in English, is published by Royal van Gorcum, Assen, The Netherlands.
Credo of Communicative Strategy
The current conception of Vision, mission and communication focuses on the strategic (and commercial) targets of an organization. People are seen as assets, tools to realize these targets. For that purpose rules, regulations, norms and measurements are developed as a framework in which people in the organization must act accordingly. This leads to confusion, tiredness and non-interest and in some cases even rebellion.But people really matter in organizations. People are the organization. Each individual forms his own organization. Communicative Strategy focuses on people and their organizations by offering a method to develop and implement Vision through strategy with all concerned, by all concerned and for all concerned. This is compassion. Communicative Strategy is about Vision, Mission and Compassion by asking three key questions: what are the possibilities, what is the drive and what is the foundation? The answers are the basis for developing the Vision – the reason to be –, the Mission – the task – and the Compassion, the Participation Process. In the future, organizations will regard targets as a result of a shared Vision (Visio), thus building strong relationships based on possibilities, drive and foundation.Communicative Strategy prepares people and their organization for the future.
Often, people see pity as a synonym for compassion. Pity is sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy[ii]. Pity is in fact the core virtue in the morale of ‘togetherness’. The core in this is that people want to bridge distances in sensitivity between those who are close to us. Pity means the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another. It implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress Compassion is not that easy to grasp. In Taoism texts, compassion is not necessarily about feelings of pity but about benevolence (courtesy, goodwill) towards the other. The starting point is the inner notion of unity with the other; to encompass, to engage. The others use the word compassion as in engagement and participation. Encompassment and participation may sound less emotional (as in pity) and less important but understanding the meaning of compassion will make people open to understanding the importance of people in organisations; they are not assets to the organisation, they are the organisation[iii].
The book is about Communicative Strategy. It is not about strategic communication although many believe that the two are more or less the same. Strategic communication is really applying communication as a tool for executing general policies in an organization. It is a continuous, well- balanced plan in steps answering questions like which target audience we will approach and how, what tools will we use and what not? This well-considered execution of policies and assets applies to internal and external communication as well as lobbying and crisis communication. In fact, strategic communication is corporate communication in all its aspects.Communicative Strategy, however, is the system of ideas that result in a collaborate awareness, appreciation, and positive intent with all who are related to an organization. Ideologies (political, religious), shifts in paradigms[iv], and reorganizations fit in this perspective as well as selling products and services. Communicative Strategy has a deep foundation. Part of it comes from combining ‘traditional’ communication, marketing, psychological and social (anthropological) theories. And part comes from new – or better renewed – insights, based on such formidable systems like the Enneagraphical system[v], Toffler’s Third wave scenario and the Belgian philosopher Arnold Cornelis who, in his ‘Feeling’s Logics’ offered us the system of the three layers of stability. Overall, Communicative Strategy is a method, based on these systems. Two words dominate Communicative Strategy; communication and strategy. The two are of the same strength and always come together; they form a unity. If you want to achieve anything strategy of course is a crucial tool to get things done. But what is strategy without communication? The answer: nothing! Everything you do has an impact on your environment. So everything you initiate will, one way or the other, change things. And that is exactly what you want when introducing a new idea, a product, service or new rule in your organization. Fundamentally, with everything we do, we change. In order to do so, we need two things: strategy and communication.
[i] The authors base these insights, amongst other on Patricia de Marelaere’s article ‘Het gelaat van de ander’ (the face of the other) in ‘De Groene’ (Dutch opinion magazine), issue #22, 1999. The article has not been quoted; the authors however want to express their appreciation of the contents and relevance of the article.[ii] Source: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/pity.[iii] Based on ‘Spheres’ by Peter Slotendijk, German philosopher.[iv]Par·a·digm:Etymology: Late Latin paradigma, from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknynai to show side by side, from para- + deiknynai to show — more at DICTION1 : EXAMPLE, PATTERN; especially : an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype2 : an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms3 : a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.Source: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/paradigm [v] As studied by Hans Dijkstra over the last thirty-five years.