In 1902, Mr. James Cash Penney founded the J.C. Penney Corporation. When he was in his 80’s, he was still actively leading the company. At that time, a reporter asked him if his vision was still good. He answered “My eyesight is not as good as it used to be, but my vision has never been better.”

An organization’s vision is formed by the executive team that leads it. That vision is directly connected to potential (what could be achieved and what is possible to change). Executive teams are often told that leadership is the key to achieving their vision and capturing potential. Leadership is a great asset and is essential to running a profitable company, but more is required to capture potential. Why? Because management tools and processes used for decision-making and problem solving are not linked to potential, which handicaps executives as they try to improve performance.

This gap in management systems disconnects potential from day to day activities and prevents new perspectives on the relationship between potential, actuals and budgets from forming. As a result, companies depend on the budget and long-term plans to deliver the growth they have promised to the board. Unachievable performance targets may be unintentionally set, which causes mistrust between management and the workforce. People will unknowingly protect the wrong things, causing losses (sometimes significant) to occur that are not measured and putting their own credibility at risk.

For every management team, credibility is everything, especially for those who were hired to solve problems that the last person couldn’t solve. A new perspective about potential will help executives connect their people to potential growth, meet expectations and accelerate the change required to achieve the vision.