My last day with the Department of Conservation is tomorrow so I'm busy wrapping things up here. I was asked to detail any strategic ideas or vision for the organization and that really got me thinking.
My good friend Kirk Keller, that I've worked with for almost a decade now, had this to say recently with regard to outside contracting: we shouldn't "outsource vision." I think he's right and I'd personally go so far as to say that you really can't outsource vision...not if you intend for it to be successful. This really drove some thoughts home and how I couldn't really leave my vision with the department.
Vision, for me at least, is something from the heart, tempered by the mind; it's a passion of the soul. If it it's not those things to you, then you probably haven't truly found it yet. ;) Most of my vision over the years has come to pass in some shape or another, sometimes not in the same way or capacity that I've had in mind - generally not in the same timetable as I would have hoped. But our online ship has generally been on a successful course of forward progress and continual improvement. As for future vision that I have, the only thing I could really recommend to current staff would be to stay involved with the the Digital Media Developer group, because I'll still be there as chairman.
I plan on taking my personal vision over to the Missouri Office of Administration and to the 14 consolidated state agencies there. To the governor's and first lady's sites and to the entire state of Missouri via the state home page and subsequent web presence. Whomever is left here, and whomever is hired to replace me as well as other outgoing staff, really need to find their own vision and direction for the department. In my mind that's the only way it will flourish and be genuine. Then it will be personal and meaningful for this organization, because it's important to the hands that are making it reality.
I wish all the best for the Department of Conservation and look forward to the new opportunities that I'll have working with the rest of the state.