How a good vision can improve your ability to change

This weekend I went with my family to the city of Almuñécar, 70 km from Malaga. The reason to why we choose a town that we do not even know how to pronounce the name of was basically pure chance. We decided to book a car, and as it was a long weekend we decided we wanted to get away from Gibraltar for a few days. We found a hotel to a great price, and it just happened to be in this town. When we travel we very seldom have a fixed goal, or in dept planning on what to do while we are away. According to us a lot of the adventure and experience lies in exploring the surrounding areas and the location when we are there. This also means that even if we might have a very brief idea of what we want to see, the final destination is very rarely the goal in itself. Nor is the way of getting there. We just want to enjoy our holiday as much as possible.

We first planned to walk the road in the valley…

This weekend this lead to our plan of going to Granada soon had to give way for the much more exciting trip to the top of Sierra Nevada and the possibility of having a snowball fight at the top. It also meant that we refused to take the highway back to the hotel, but rather took the amazing road up in the mountains that used to be the main road, before the road that was the main road before the highway was built. It also meant that the plan to explore one of the many beautiful nature reserves in the area and the valleys surrounding it soon was a mountain climb up to the top.

Conditions are constantly changing and you must always strive to make the best of the current situation. Being a poker player you should always try to make the best possible play with the information you have and the current situation you are in. It simply does not work to try to plan several hands ahead, because you do not know what situation you will be in when you are there. You cannot predict how the preflop game will look like, how deep your stacks are going to be or even against whom you will play that pot or what cards you will have. What you can do however, is to strive to always make the best possible play, and to have an overall vision of where you want to come in terms of your play in the future.

…but ended up climbing a mountain

With the long term vision as a guidance you can always try to find improvements in how to reach it. Of course you can try to follow everyone else and take the highway, but you do not know then what opportunities you might miss. In our case we got to see an amazing road with the most stunning views. A poker player might find himself in a situation where he can exploit a bad player to a point where his winrate gets a huge extra boost, and when running a business you might find new revenue streams, or more efficient ways of generating the same outcome for less resources. To change and re-evaluate your goals due to changed conditions is natural for your continuous success.

On the other hand changing the vision should not be taken as lightly. Changing the goals that are connected to the vision is one thing, to change the actual vision is a completely other thing (unless you of course are changing from a “bad” one to a better one). The reasons are that without the guidance of a strong solid vision the improvisations you find yourself doing is nothing but a search for a purpose, where the actual meaning might be lost. When we went on this trip we had a clear goal that by the end of the day we should be back at the hotel. How we got there, and even what we did and experience there was not important (our “sub-goals”). Our vision was to enjoy our holidays as much as possible. If we for some reason would decide that our goal of getting back to the hotel again by the end of the day would have to change, our vision could still be to enjoy our holidays as much as possible. Be it that the definition of “enjoy” have changed throughout the day, but even though the goal in itself has to change, the vision stands clear. This way we could even change the goals to be that instead of going back to the hotel we would sleep on the beach.

This also means that the vision needs to be defined abstract enough to allow changes in the definition. A company that always strives to “offer the best customer experience” is on much more solid ground (vision wise at least) than a company where the vision is limited to “offer the best service”, even though both companies might have the same goal for a time. While the first company would be much more open to changes, the second one would find itself in trouble if the definition of “best customer experience” would change to be where you would get the best value for money. In this example the first company has a much better mental preparation of doing the necessary changes in order to stay competitive. How it is in reality is a completely other story though. If we would have as a defined (too narrow) vision for this holiday to explore Granada, we would either have failed badly as we never went there. Or we would follow our vision and force ourselves to see something that would make us miss the wonderful trip up to Sierra Nevada that for the time being feels like a much better choice.

Our vision was to enjoy our holidays as much as possible

When I first started writing this blog post my thought was to write about re-evaluating your goal when your conditions were changing. In the end it became a monologue discussing how to phrase a vision in order to stay prepared in a fast changing market. I am glad my vision for this blog is to write interesting posts for my readers, and ventilate my thoughts, whatever they might be.

One Comments

  • Joakim Bergman

    15 March, 2012

    Nice post! A little insight in how the brain of Pelle works.


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