Article By: Dr. Kenneth Bartlett
As change progress, we may lose sight of the overall purpose of what we are working towards. Apart from remembering the objectives, leaders and everyone in an organization working to make a change need to keep a clear overarching vision, of why we do what we do. Let’s explore the importance of vision in starting, guiding, and maintaining motivation for change.
Consider the vision of the MekongSkills2Work (MS2W) Network – to strengthen the Lower Mekong workforce, promoting economic development, and ASEAN integration.
To achieve that, we connect youth, education and training institutions, and industry partners to collaborate in order to prepare students to be a highly skilled, market-driven workforce. As we promote innovative changes, we must ensure their sustainability by institutionalizing the model – to “make change stick”.
The vision is the key driver of all activities.
A key role for Mekong Learning Centers (MLCs) is to connect changes already made and those planned in the future so that all stakeholders understand the MS2W Network vision. This helps show how successfully institutionalized change will achieve the MS2W vision.
MLC leaders need to be able to communicate effectively so the vision of MS2W will engage both the imagination and energy of faculty and students.
Some easy ways to refocus on the vision include:
- Start meetings of MLC faculty with discussion of the vision and why it is important. How will this benefit the whole faculty, and the institution, in the long run?
- Have industry partners and employers talk about what the achievement of the vision would mean for their business, employees, and the overall economy.
- Share the overall purpose of this vision to youth – what would this mean for them?
Student motivation of accepting change to new instructional approaches is often thought of in simple terms. By this, we think students are either motivated or they are not.
We challenge you to think about how instructors can spark student motivation, and keep them growing. Instructors can remind students of the vision - and making innovative pedagogy become the norm will positively impact students, employers, their country, and the ASEAN region.
There is usually a great deal of communication at the start of a change process about the vision that is driving the change. But, as the days, months, and years pass the communication usually turns to focus more on the daily problems as well as management of processes, and the evaluation of output measures and progress.
This means people sometime forget why all these activities are happening. This is a great reason to return to the vision. Refocusing on the purpose is a great strategy to help keep motivation for change and to sustain that change.