The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission




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Vilma Cobos
Business Consultant, El Salvador

The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission

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 any organization do not know the vision and mission of their company. And even less how important their own work is in achieving its objectives. This has severe consequences for their motivation and organizational commitment.

I conclude that communication of the strategic vision, corporate mission, purpose and values is really important. And information about these things ​​must flow to all hierarchical levels of the organization so that all employees feel part of them and are clear about their own objectives and the role/importance of their own work for the purpose of the organization as a whole.
 

Rating

 
5
PT de Boer
Partner, Netherlands
 

Make People Carry the Vision in their Hearts

A touching story which demonstrates not only the need for communicating a vision; it also shows that... Sign up

 
2
BarbaFroid
Italy
 

Vision and Cathedral

This story, like the koan of the Japanese Zen, can have various interpretations. Just think of dicta... Sign up

 
1
VENKATESH
Manager, India
 

Some Leaders are Reluctant to Communicate the Mission and Vision

Clear communication of the vision and mission is of utmost importance. People/organisations often ha... Sign up

 
-1
Nic Roest, Netherlands
 

The Cathedral Story is not about Selling!

The essence of the story is not in the need of SELLING your vision to your co-workers. It's about t... Sign up

 
5
Nkomo
Manager, Zimbabwe
 

Vision and the Story of the Stonemasons

This may be an old story, but I believe in what Vilma is trying to achieve in organizations. Worker... Sign up

 
2
Carlos Barbera
CxO / Board, Spain
 

Communicating the Vision and Mission is One Thing; ENGAGING is Another!

I fully agree with the message of the story, to communicate the mission and vision properly is impor... Sign up

 
0
Mohankrishna
Manager, India
 

The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission

A vision can be personal (set by a person for himself) or organizational (for an organization). For... Sign up

 
2
Jack Martin Leith
Management Consultant, United Kingdom
 

Parable of the Stonemasons

Thanks for publishing this story. I mention it briefly in my five-minute Ignite Bristol talk, Enrich... Sign up

 
1
Raphael Gichora Mugo
Manager, Kenya
 

Communicating Vision and Mission

Here is an example of a complex subject discussed in a simple way. Thank you for the story and thank... Sign up

 
2
Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

Powerful Story About the Stone Masons and the Cathedral

@Raphael Gichora Mugo: Indeed stories are known to have the ability to communicate complex ideas or ... Sign up

 
0
ISAAC MUCHENGA
Director, Zimbabwe
 

The Leader's Role in Communicating the Vision and Mission

The HR (psychological) part of leadership is one of the most difficult tasks. A motivated and engage... Sign up

 
1
Daniel Jarvis, United States
 

There are also other Motivational Approaches...

This parabel exhibits paramount points to create synergy within an organization by illuminating the ... Sign up

 
0
Charles Alter
Consultant, United States
 

Envisioned Future

Jim Collins says a vision must be a longterm Envisioned Future, not just a short-term concept of whe... Sign up

 
1
Pat Hannon
Lecturer, Ireland
 

How Good are we at Communicating the Vision and Mission to Stakeholders?

The vision is the foundation for the mission. Forming an effective mission (which should be visionar... Sign up

 
2
Gandhi Heryanto
Management Consultant, Indonesia
 

Excuses for not Having Clear Vision and Mission

I quote what was said by Jack Welch, GE's chairman:
"Good business leaders create a vi... Sign up

 
1
ISAAC E. OGBUKA PhD
Nigeria
 

Benefits of Clarity of Purpose in the Vision and Mission Statements

Whenever the vision statement is simplified and properly communicated to the team and workforce time... Sign up

 
1
Elias Mhegera
Journalist, Tanzania
 

The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission

Probably that is true but in the Tanzanian context I would think that even if the vision and mission... Sign up

 
3
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

The Mission is the Means to Achieving the Vision

I am reminded of the old project management joke:
"When you are up to your eyeballs in... Sign up

 
0
Mohammad Hossein Rohani
Teacher, Iran
 

Combination of QWL and the Vision

Of course, the communication of the vision and mission is really important. At least at the level of... Sign up

 
1
Daniel MOUSSOUGAN
Strategy Consultant, Benin
 

Who Told Me That we Were Building a Cathedral?

That is an excellent story, describing realistic situations that whow the ways we understand our org... Sign up

 
1
Jack Blanc, Peru
 

The Cathedral and the Vision

The three workers will all eventually finish their job. But the three of them will put a different a... Sign up

 
3
ABEBE KEBEDE
Interim Manager, Ethiopia
 

On the Relevance of Management Communication

You know, sometimes I see people coming to office each day and simply waiting for the last minute to... Sign up

 
3
Hermann Doppler
Consultant, Germany
 

Story is Basis for 3 Perspectives

The stone workers story was exemplary to me for years. I know it by Peter Drucker and Fredmund Malik... Sign up

 
0
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

Obligations of Management for the Received Value of the Worker's Opportunity Costs

@abebe kebede: F.W. Taylor disdained of the worker who just "soldiered on' day after day, without th... Sign up

 
1
Emmanuel Mwirichia
Manager, Kenya
 

Help the Employees Help You

In order for each employee to feel like their work is valued a lot, it is important for the leaders/... Sign up

 
0
Hardtmann
Entrepreneur, Germany
 

Communicating the Vision Requires PASSION so it is Inspiring..

@Carlos Barbera: Hi Carlos, I believe that if you have a vision in which you believe, and are able t... Sign up

 
1
alvarez-pereyre
Coach, France
 

The Stone Carvers Parable: The First Stone Carver

The Stone Carvers Parable has been a simple, direct and powerful eye-opener for many in my consultan... Sign up

 
-1
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

The Leader and the Player and Management's Ego Need for Followers

@Hermann Doppler: I like your observation very much. The three men could be seen as players on the ... Sign up

 
2
Mirza Fareed Beg
Management Consultant, Pakistan
 

Vision Begets Mission and Then Mission Needs Vision (Direction)

Tom Wilson has rightly @said that the mission grows out of the vision. This view is also held by a l... Sign up

 
1
Okorie Emmanuel
Manager, Nigeria
 

Communication at the Workplace and Mentality of Workers Towards their Work

The story, whether true or fiction clearly shows the mentality of workers towards their work based o... Sign up

 
3
Jose A. De las Rivas
Management Consultant, Spain
 

Mision and Vision Communication at Workplace

But what we're talking about: employee engagement? And what about the commitment of leaders, manager... Sign up

 
0
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

When Vision Becomes the Mission, the Mission Needs a Vision

@Mirza Fareed Beg: I think you have it about right. The entrepreneur has a vision of a widget and hi... Sign up

 
2
Carlos Barbera
CxO / Board, Spain
 

Mission and Vision Communications in an Environment of Problems

@Jose A. De las Rivas: You are right Jose Antonio, leaders of the project or company are the first g... Sign up

 
1
Charles Alter
Consultant, United States
 

Vision & Core Values

@Carlos Barbera: The dilemma is that lofty Visions and Missions are lost during the stress of crisis... Sign up

 
1
Wayne Faison, United States
 

The Difference Between Vision and Mission

This is a great story that reminds me of what I've always been taught concerning the difference betw... Sign up

 
-1
ABEBE KEBEDE
Interim Manager, Ethiopia
 

Vision Communication

@Tom Wilson: if we are looking into what has actually been happening in most of the private companie... Sign up

 
0
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

There Is, Indeed, a Lack of Stewardship in Corporate Leadership

@abebe kebede: I agree completely, Most of what is put out by CEOs as vision statements are self-se... Sign up

 
0
Jose A. De las Rivas
Management Consultant, Spain
 

Mission, Vision and Core Values

@Carlos Barbera: Thanks Carlos, but I think that not only is a particular problem of the crisis in S... Sign up

 
0
John Sunderland
HR Consultant, United Kingdom
 

Lack of Trust is the Real Problem

This is a very unlikely scenario - didn't medieval cathedral builders actually have a strong collect... Sign up

 
0
Mohamed Tantawi
Marketing Manager, Egypt
 

Thank you for Reminding us about this Great Story

Thank you very much. I read this before, think it was mentioned in The 7 habits by Steven Covey... A... Sign up

 
1
Leena Bissoonauth
Student (University), Mauritius
 

Communicating Mission & Vision

This story shows how these three workers are reacting differently. Stories are indeed what shapes t... Sign up

 
1
Gwande
Project Manager, Zimbabwe
 

We Need Communication plus Ownership of Vision and Mission

The story is good but I agree with @alvarez-pereyre that it's not only communication that makes the ... Sign up

 
3
salem ahmed
Teacher, Yemen
 

Is there a Match between an Individual's Expectations and the Organization's Expectations?

For the question: How and when are individuals committed to the vision of organization, I recommend ... Sign up

 
0
Augustine T. Mansaray
Analyst, Sierra Leone
 

The Mission is the Means to Achieve the Vision

@Tom Wilson: I totally agree with your take on this subject especially in situations where motivatio... Sign up

 
0
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

On Capitol Hill, the Mission is All for Staffers

@Augustine T. Mansaray: I responded in another forum about Capitol Hill staffers being deferred from... Sign up

 
1
VENKATESH
Manager, India
 

Reaction to Vision and Mission Differs per Individual

In continuation of my earlier submission my view is that each one is working / doing the duty as per... Sign up

 
0
Richard Mariwa
Manager
 

Communicating Vision, Mission and Values

Most organisations have elaborate vision and mission statements stated in glossy strategic agenda do... Sign up

 
0
Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

Communicating Motivation

@Richard Mariwa: Richard, I tend to agree with Venkatesh: the metrics for motivation is different fo... Sign up

 
0
alvarez-pereyre
Coach, France
 

Communicating Motivation

@Tom Wilson: I would fully agree that the existential value of one is not higher or lower than that... Sign up

 
0
Gary Stead
Director, United Kingdom
 

People on a Mission

Great story and insightful comments. So how about our stonemason - is he a target (to sell our visio... Sign up

   

More on Strategic Vision:
Summary
Discussion Topics
How Do You Measure Vision?
Guidance for the Strategic Journey in the Desert
Components of Vision
👀The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission
Strategic Foresight
Should a Strategic Vision Be Achievable?
The Importance of having a Vision (and Strategy)
🔥Is Every Vision Strategic?
What's the Essence of Vision
Be the First to Be Moved by your Vision!
Relation Between Organizational Vision and Employee Empowerment
VISION versus MISSION
The Best Moment to Communicate the Vision and Mision to Employees?
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