Vision is often discussed in many contexts and in many professions and in the trades. Being able to visualize or envision a design is mandatory before you can create the physical entity itself. You can’t build a house before you create the plans and document the details, or the house you build will be the house that collapses. A tool and die maker can’t build a simple or complex die or a tool before there is a design or vision of that tool. Without plans or the vision, what is constructed probably has no value to the customer. You cannot build what you cannot visualize.
It is extremely difficult, maybe impossible, to move forward without having a vision of to where you want to move forward. If there is no vision for your organization whether in the private or public sector, there is certainty of chaos or a zig-zagging of efforts going in no particular direction. Lost effort, inefficiency, and waste of resources are the results. This environment often reminds me of the UCLA basketball coach John Wooden who had ten NCAA Basketball Champions in 12 years when he stated, “Don’t confuse activity with accomplishments.” Organizations without vision is activity without accomplishment.
Quite recently, I was looking through old photos of my nephew Joe at a time when he was learning to drive. A few images brought back strong, very succinct memories of when he and I were bow hunting one season near Hesperia; I always loved those times. Anyway, around noon we decided to visit a local convenient store and I let him take the wheel of the Pathfinder. As we headed down a flat straight road, I noticed he had a difficult time in keeping the truck going straight. He was consistently over-correcting from right to left and back again to stay between the lines. I asked him what he was looking at as he drove. His answer, “I’m looking at the road in front of the truck, of course.” He quickly added that it was all good. But it was clear that the line he was driving certainly wasn’t.
After a couple of miles, I asked if I could make a suggestion. He nodded yes, with a bit of teenage reluctance. I looked at him and said, “Joe, you have excellent hand eye coordination. I’ve seen you play video games, you’re awesome. Try this: Make your eyes look way down the middle of your lane. Your hands on the steering wheel will follow your eyes.” Sounds obvious to all of us doesn’t it? But it isn’t obvious.
He quickly glanced at me and just as quickly looked back at the road saying nothing. “Seriously Joe, just try it, it’ll be okay.” It only took a few moments when the Pathfinder began straightening out and following an imaginary line down the center of the lane, just like a luge sled speeding down a mountain track. After a minute or so he looked at me and said, “It works! How did you know that? How come my Mom and Dad didn’t tell me that?” I kind of grinned, “Joe, I always said you had great hand eye coordination. Now you see how that can be used behind the wheel of a car. The hands trust the eyes for the vision and the eyes trust that the hands will perform the task. In this case, it’s driving a vehicle in the center of the lane.” He did whisper, “That’s cool.”
It is cool. Having organizational vision is exactly the same as driving a vehicle. Okay, maybe not exactly, but the concepts overlay quite nicely. Having vision is the ability to look farther down the road, into the future and create a path back to the present. That is how connectivity is created between the two in conjunction with available resources as well as preparing you to seek additional resources based on the vision. Vision is not where you stand physically, it’s where you stand intellectually and creatively. It works, it’s fun, It’s absolutely necessary for Coopersville.
April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) for those that appreciate the uniqueness, the creativity, and the richness of this genre of music. It was created by the National Museum of American History – Smithsonian in 2001. Before today I did not know about JAM and April, thought I would share.
Please review this packet and contact me if you have questions or comments. For that have contacted me in the past, I thank you. Increased communication cultivates better understanding of the issues we have to address. Have a sunny and enjoyable weekend. Be safe out there!
Pocket Park Construction – almost ready for the public
We love that people are excited to use the Pocket Park and are already planning events in the Pocket Park this summer for their events. However, we need to remind everyone that the park is still under construction and not quite complete! The work to finish the park will be starting again soon and hopefully finish this spring. In order to use Pocket Park Pavilion for your event, you will have to make a reservation by contacting City Hall’s front desk and place a deposit, like our other pavilions. Stay tuned to the city’s Facebook page and the City Manager’s blog for more information about when the Park will be ready for your use.
Water Project – Phase I
Jonathan Seyferth and I attended a meeting with individuals at the Economic Development Administration (EDA) located in Chicago last week Wednesday. It was also a part of a conference call that included City Treasurer Keri Rogers, Allendale Township, Polkton Township, and Ottawa County Road Commission Utilities. The purpose of the meeting was to review with all the partnering communities how to administratively manage and report to the EDA expenditures relating to the Water Project – Phase I including the monies provided by the EDA in the form of a $2.1 million grant. Interesting meeting.
Progress continues on the finalization of the land purchase in Allendale for the upgraded water booster station. Zoning issues have been resolved, we’re getting close. More information as it becomes available.
WWTP Effluent Pump – UV Chamber Project
The Contractor has the notice of Award and is gathering bond and insurance documents. They should have them soon. The exact date for start of the project will be available to us shortly. We will inform council of the exact start date.