The only limits of our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. -Franklin Roosevelt
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
The vision of any organization should communicate a vivid picture of what the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home could and should become if we were to ever realize our fullest potential. Thus, in essence, our strategic plan becomes achieving our full potential, as an organization. Such a vision provides the agency and its members with a blueprint of how things could be and a sense that it is possible to achieve these systematically set goals. The vision is the foundation upon which the organization’s mission is built. The vision serves as an energy source for all the organization’s stakeholders, such as children, families, staff, Board of Directors, referring agencies, courts, schools, church, etc. The vision should provide a template by which the organization can analyze both external threats and opportunities. Also, this vision should help the organization to develop and focus internal resources to bring the vision into reality.
From where do such visions come? As an ongoing evolution and development of The Children’s Home, the vision continues to evolve from a strong tradition and legacy of ministry, the present realities of the culture, discussions by members of the Senior Administrative Team and Board of Directors and hearing from stakeholders (donors, community representatives, and care recipients).
It is the responsibility of the Administrative Team to work in concert with the organization’s Board of Directors to refine the vision and communicate it, so that all members of the organization can understand it fully and commit themselves to bringing that vision into a reality. The leaders in the organization must make certain the vision has visibility and that it is kept alive and vibrant in order to maintain its energizing properties. Kouzes and Posner (1987) have strongly argued that managing the vision process and its implementation is the central task of leadership.
The vision should serve, at least in part, as the basis for every important decision made by the organization; that is, each important decision should be prefaced by, “Does this advance our vision?” The answer should explicitly and implicitly shape the day-to-day activities of all agency staff and thus the future of the organization.
One central aspect of vision for our organization has at its core, the promotion of the ideal of excellence. Throughout our present and future development, we must continue to ask ourselves the overarching question: “Does this look like excellence?” Our focused objective at SMCH is to “enhance everything!” In doing so, our desire must be to improve every part of the organization.
In the myriad of changes projected on our campus, we must review the issue of the age of our buildings. The current residences were built in the 1960s for small children of the 1960s. These homes do not adequately meet the needs of 21stCentury young people. We must address this issue within the next two years. Our Administration Building is over 100 years old.
Major updates have already been made such as the remodeling of Magnolia Auditorium, major gymnasium renovations and extensive Moffett Dining Hall improvements. All eleven cottages have been updated. However, improvement is still needed in every building on our campus. Aging campus facilities will always dictate our future!