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Theory of visionary crisis in Organization Development


The Theory of Visionary Crisis
(An open development of organization theory)
P. Anil Prasad
 

Is there any possibility for a "visionary crisis" exists in organizations? Experiences say “yes”. Okay, then what is “Visionary Crisis?”

To answer this, firstly, we may have to be on the same page in defining a “visionary”. The Cambridge online dictionary gives the definition “a person who has the ability to imagine how a country, society, industry, etc. will develop in the future and to plan in a suitable way”. The Collins online dictionary gives the definition "If you refer to someone as a visionary, you mean that they have strong, original ideas about how things might be different in the future, especially about how things might be improved."

Now it is clear that visionaries cherish dreams and imaginations for future. Such dreams and imaginations are developed by synthesising information and impulses the visionaries receive from the broader environment in the past and in the present. The budding phase of these dreams can also be termed as intuition phase. This stage need not necessarily provide concrete reasons that anyone can digest. But surviving beyond this stage is very crucial as it is the embryonic stage of a vision.

The visionaries would show visible changes in the manner in which they think, plan and organize things in the budding or intuition stage itself. Most often this kind of a change happens organically similar to the behavioural and bodily changes happen in pregnant females. It is quite natural, therefore, irresistible as well!

Since this budding or intuition phase is not supposed to give concrete reasons, in the case of organization leaders, the subordinates may not buy the ideas. If the visionary is one among the second line equals, in most cases, neither the first line leader nor the second line equals buy the ideas of a visionary. This situation can be termed as “ visionary crisis”. This situation would become deadly for the embryonic vision, if the visionary is not powerful enough to slowly and steadily create an enabling environment for the embryonic vision to grow healthy.

Image: Public domain image from commons.wikimedia.org

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