The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission

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The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission
Vilma Cobos, Business Consultant, El Salvador, Member
Three stonemasons (stone workers) are working on a construction when a traveler comes in and asks them, "What are you doing?"
- The first mason, who seems bored and unhappy at his job and is frequently looking at his watch, replies: "I'm just hammering rock".
- Then the visitor approaches a second worker who seems happier and is working more diligently, and asks again: "what are you doing?" and the second worker responds, "I'm molding this block of rock so it can be used to construct a wall".
- Finally the traveler approaches a third worker who is working on the stones fervently and with great care and precision, and again the visitor asks "what are you doing?" and the worker replies, "I'm building a cathedral".

Above anecdote reminds us that many of the employees in...Sign up

Make People Carry the Vision in their Hearts
PT de Boer, Partner, Netherlands, Member
A touching story which demonstrates not only the need for communicating a vision; it also shows that a vision is only effective when people ...Sign up

Vision and Cathedral
BarbaFroid, Italy, Member
This story, like the koan of the Japanese Zen, can have various interpretations. Just think of dictatorships, how much rhetoric they use! Think, in CC...Sign up

Some Leaders are Reluctant to Communicate the Mission and Vision
VENKATESH, Manager, India, Member
Clear communication of the vision and mission is of utmost importance. People/organisations often have hidden agendas behind their missions/visions.Sign up

The Cathedral Story is not about Selling!
Nic Roest, CxO / Board, Netherlands, Member
The essence of the story is not in the need of SELLING your vision to your co-workers.
It's about the importance of co-workers knowing why they a...Sign up

Vision and the Story of the Stonemasons
Nkomo, Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
This may be an old story, but I believe in what Vilma is trying to achieve in organizations.
Workers must know the ultimate goal of their work so...Sign up

Communicating the Vision and Mission is One Thing; ENGAGING is Another!
Carlos Barbera, CxO / Board, Spain, Member
I fully agree with the message of the story, to communicate the mission and vision properly is important. But convincing and motivating the employees ...Sign up

The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission
Mohankrishna, Manager, India, Member
A vision can be personal (set by a person for himself) or organizational (for an organization).
For personal vision, an individual is responsible...Sign up

Parable of the Stonemasons
Jack Martin Leith, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
Thanks for publishing this story. I mention it briefly in my five-minute Ignite Bristol talk, Sign up

Communicating Vision and Mission
Raphael Gichora Mugo, Manager, Kenya, Member
Here is an example of a complex subject discussed in a simple way. Thank you for the story and thanks to all who have contributed, it makes interestin...Sign up

Powerful Story About the Stone Masons and the Cathedral
Jaap de Jonge, CEO, Netherlands, Editor
@Raphael Gichora Mugo: Indeed stories are known to have the ability to communicate complex ideas or things in a simp...Sign up

The Leader's Role in Communicating the Vision and Mission
ISAAC MUCHENGA, Director, Zimbabwe, Member
The HR (psychological) part of leadership is one of the most difficult tasks. A motivated and engaged employee is more receptive to these strategic is...Sign up

There are also other Motivational Approaches...
Daniel Jarvis, Director, United States, Member
This parabel exhibits paramount points to create synergy within an organization by illuminating the importance of making every employee realize their ...Sign up

Envisioned Future
Charles Alter, Consultant, United States, Member
Jim Collins says a vision must be a longterm Envisioned Future, not just a short-term concept of where an organization is headed. Coupled with a huge ...Sign up

How Good are we at Communicating the Vision and Mission to Stakeholders?
Pat Hannon, Lecturer, Ireland, Member
The vision is the foundation for the mission. Forming an effective mission (which should be visionary) needs a high degree of ethical standards from e...Sign up

Excuses for not Having Clear Vision and Mission
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Member
I quote what was said by Jack Welch, GE's chairman:

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately ...Sign up

Benefits of Clarity of Purpose in the Vision and Mission Statements
ISAAC E. OGBUKA PhD, Nigeria, Member
Whenever the vision statement is simplified and properly communicated to the team and workforce timely, the result is always fantastic. It first of al...Sign up

The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission
Elias Mhegera , Journalist, Tanzania, Member
Probably that is true but in the Tanzanian context I would think that even if the vision and mission are there, a hungry stomach caused by poor salari...Sign up

The Mission is the Means to Achieving the Vision
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
I am reminded of the old project management joke:

"When you are up to your eyeballs in alligators, it is hard to remember that y...Sign up

Combination of QWL and the Vision
Mohammad Hossein Rohani, Teacher, Iran, Member
Of course, the communication of the vision and mission is really important. At least at the level of middle managers and team leaders who are engaged ...Sign up

Who Told Me That we Were Building a Cathedral?
Daniel MOUSSOUGAN, Strategy Consultant, Benin, Member
That is an excellent story, describing realistic situations that whow the ways we understand our organization's goals and the role we are playing in i...Sign up

The Cathedral and the Vision
Jack Blanc
The three workers will all eventually finish their job. But the three of them will put a different amount of effort in it. And only the second and thi...Sign up

On the Relevance of Management Communication
abebe kebede, Accountant, Ethiopia, Member
You know, sometimes I see people coming to office each day and simply waiting for the last minute to go out and I ask myself for how long are they doi...Sign up

Story is Basis for 3 Perspectives
Hermann Doppler, Consultant, Germany, Member
The stone workers story was exemplary to me for years. I know it by Peter Drucker and Fredmund Malik who was a Student of Peter Drucker.
For me t...Sign up

Obligations of Management for the Received Value of the Worker's Opportunity Costs
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@abebe kebede: F.W. Taylor disdained of the worker who just "soldiered on' day after day, without the spark of enthu...Sign up

Help the Employees Help You
Emmanuel Mwirichia, Manager, Kenya, Member
In order for each employee to feel like their work is valued a lot, it is important for the leaders/managers to constantly remind them that they are p...Sign up

Communicating the Vision Requires PASSION so it is Inspiring..
Hardtmann, Entrepreneur, Germany, Member
@Carlos Barbera: Hi Carlos, I believe that if you have a vision in which you believe, and are able to share it in su...Sign up

The Stone Carvers Parable: The First Stone Carver
alvarez-pereyre, Coach, France, Member
The Stone Carvers Parable has been a simple, direct and powerful eye-opener for many in my consultancy and coaching work for years. Besides, it opens ...Sign up

The Leader and the Player and Management's Ego Need for Followers
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@Hermann Doppler: I like your observation very much.
The three men could be seen as players on the same team, e...Sign up

Vision Begets Mission and Then Mission Needs Vision (Direction)
Mirza Fareed Beg, Management Consultant, Pakistan, Member
Tom Wilson has rightly @said that the mission grows out of the vision. This view is also held by a large number of m...Sign up

Communication at the Workplace and Mentality of Workers Towards their Work
Okorie Emmanuel, Manager, Nigeria, Member
The story, whether true or fiction clearly shows the mentality of workers towards their work based on their understanding of why they are doing what t...Sign up

Mision and Vision Communication at Workplace
Jose A. De las Rivas, Management Consultant, Spain, Member
But what we're talking about: employee engagement? And what about the commitment of leaders, managers and directors who in most cases are just looking...Sign up

When Vision Becomes the Mission, the Mission Needs a Vision
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@Mirza Fareed Beg: I think you have it about right. The entrepreneur has a vision of a widget and his mission is, fi...Sign up

Mission and Vision Communications in an Environment of Problems
Carlos Barbera, CxO / Board, Spain, Member
@Jose A. De las Rivas: You are right Jose Antonio, leaders of the project or company are the first goal of communica...Sign up

Vision & Core Values
Charles Alter, Consultant, United States, Member
@Carlos Barbera: The dilemma is that lofty Visions and Missions are lost during the stress of crisis management, whi...Sign up

The Difference Between Vision and Mission
Wayne Faison, Minister, United States, Member
This is a great story that reminds me of what I've always been taught concerning the difference between vision and mission. Vision relates to what one...Sign up

Vision Communication
abebe kebede, Accountant, Ethiopia, Member
@Tom Wilson: if we are looking into what has actually been happening in most of the private companies today, some em...Sign up

There Is, Indeed, a Lack of Stewardship in Corporate Leadership
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@abebe kebede: I agree completely, Most of what is put out by CEOs as vision statements are self-serving justificat...Sign up

Mission, Vision and Core Values
Jose A. De las Rivas, Management Consultant, Spain, Member
@Carlos Barbera: Thanks Carlos, but I think that not only is a particular problem of the crisis in Spain but rather ...Sign up

Lack of Trust is the Real Problem
John Sunderland, HR Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
This is a very unlikely scenario - didn't medieval cathedral builders actually have a strong collective vision? OK maybe this is just a parable and no...Sign up

Thank you for Reminding us about this Great Story
Mohamed Tantawi, Marketing Manager, Egypt, Member
Thank you very much. I read this before, think it was mentioned in The 7 habits by Steven Covey... Anyway, I was happy to read it again as I had forgo...Sign up

Communicating Mission & Vision
Leena Bissoonauth, Student (University), Mauritius, Member
This story shows how these three workers are reacting differently.
Stories are indeed what shapes the employees' behavior which may be positive a...Sign up

We Need Communication plus Ownership of Vision and Mission
Gwande, Project Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
The story is good but I agree with @alvarez-pereyre that it's not only communication that makes the team work accord...Sign up

Is there a Match between an Individual's Expectations and the Organization's Expectations?
salem ahmed, Manager, Yemen, Member
For the question: How and when are individuals committed to the vision of organization, I recommend to pay attention to motivations: they have a signi...Sign up

The Mission is the Means to Achieve the Vision
Augustine T. Mansaray, Analyst, Sierra Leone, Member
@Tom Wilson: I totally agree with your take on this subject especially in situations where motivation is mostly driv...Sign up

On Capitol Hill, the Mission is All for Staffers
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@Augustine T. Mansaray: I responded in another forum about Capitol Hill staffers being deferred from Obamacare.
...Sign up

Reaction to Vision and Mission Differs per Individual
VENKATESH, Manager, India, Member
In continuation of my earlier submission my view is that each one is working / doing the duty as per his / her motivation. These motivations are the r...Sign up

Communicating Vision, Mission and Values
Richard Mariwa, Manager, Member
Most organisations have elaborate vision and mission statements stated in glossy strategic agenda documents but the linkage to the corporate DNA which...Sign up

Communicating Motivation
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@Richard Mariwa: Richard, I tend to agree with Venkatesh: the metrics for motivation is different for each stone mas...Sign up

Communicating Motivation
alvarez-pereyre, Coach, France, Member
@Tom Wilson: I would fully agree that the existential value of one is not higher or lower than that of any other st...Sign up

People on a Mission
Gary Stead, Director, United Kingdom, Member
Great story and insightful comments. So how about our stonemason - is he a target (to sell our vision to or to motivate to follow it)?
If so - th...Sign up


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