Do You Have a Dream for Your Workplace?

Linda Dulye's picture

dream.jpgThe phrase “I have a dream” is forever linked with Martin Luther King Jr. whose birthday we celebrated recently. King touched so many lives and moved millions of people with his contributions to our country and he did so because he had a dream.

Can that type of visionary thinking apply to organizations? Absolutely. In fact, here’s one recent example: Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn vows that by 2018 his company will pass Toyota as the world’s largest automaker. Talk about bold thinking!

Does your organization encourage that type of audacious goal setting? Do you promote “dreaming big” within your team? We believe that the word “dream” has a role in the workplace – and not in a negative “keep dreaming” way. So, how do you dream big in the workplace? Here are some ideas to get you and your team started:

  1. Look in the mirror. Does your culture or your leadership style promote dreaming big? Examine your personal achievements at work – and those of your team – to see which ones were fueled by creative thinking or paradigm busting.
  2. Conduct an audit. Consider formal assessment of your organization – all levels of your organization. Use qualitative and quantitative data to determine if innovation and big ideas are encouraged or quashed. Where are you in the expectation that people are encouraged to dream big.
  3. Find a shadow. Ask someone – an HR representative, a front-line manager – to shadow you as a leader as you attend meetings, talk with employees or visit regional offices or plants. Does your leadership style promote that big picture thinking?
  4. Start now. As you’re setting 2010 objectives for each team member, put an emphasis on stretch goals – corporate speak for big goals. Make the goals fun, something that inspires, and set concrete deadlines.

If you need inspiration, you can listen to Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech here.


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