Any organisation or company that wants to grow and improve its performance must have a vision. The latter, usually, enhances or ruins the way, in which the employees view their leader because they are the always the inventors of the visions (Criswell &Talula, 2011). Creating good and unique visions makes the employees consider their managers as good leaders while bad visions make them consider their leaders as people deficient of leadership qualities (Campbell, 2012). In the case of the East African Community Counter-Terrorism Unit, the leader will have to develop a vision that can help them perfect the use of intelligence in fighting terrorism (Detter de Lupis Frankopan, 1969). Therefore, a credible vision should be one that effectively helps the East African Community end terrorism for good.
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Essential Element 1
The fact that counter-terrorism activities are essential for the prevention of violent outbursts of those opposed to the ideas of the current political regime is incontrovertible. However, when it comes to raising awareness regarding a case in point and increasing the rates of initiative among the concerned denizens of the population, the initiative may turn out to be quite jejune. Herein the first essential element of creating a counter-terrorism vision lies; to develop the specific vision that will help prevent the instances of terrorism, one must raise awareness regarding the issue and convince people that the problem is far more palpable than they want to acknowledge it.
Awareness is an essential element of a counter-terrorism program that may raise a few eyebrows in terms of its comparative passiveness. Indeed, the process of information sharing is not traditionally viewed as active; with the modern means of information transfer, which do not presuppose communication in person, the very concept of knowledge management and raising awareness becomes even more passive than it already seemed. However, the specified element must still be viewed as an activity, as it presupposes that exchange in opinions should occur among the participants of the conversation and, therefore, the creation of new ideas and concepts becomes possible. Moreover, spreading awareness is a major incentive towards starting to act; once people recognise the problem, the decision-making process will take place, and the process of designing a solution for the problem in question will be launched. Thus, information transfer and knowledge management must be viewed as crucial parts of the EAC counter-terrorism vision.
The leader must think about what other people have never thought about before (Criswell &Talula, 2011). Big ideas should have the capacity to make the organisation grow bigger than their current status (Black & Gregersen, 2008). In the context of the East African Community Counter-terrorism Unit, the leaders should come up with ideas that can help the region crush all the terrorist groups in the region. Many people in the region have always thought that fighting terrorism only means military actions. Therefore, the vision the leaders ought to come up with should not be related to the direct use of soldiers in the fight against terrorist groups. On the contrary, it should put more emphasis on intelligence and detailed investigations.
Good visions must help communicate the values of the organisation to the employees and other people around them (Criswell &Talula, 2011). Values are the behaviours and states of affairs that people in a community consider right for everyone to observe. Organisations and companies must always avoid conflicts with their surrounding communities by embracing their values. Therefore, all their practices must reflect these values. Achieving this goal requires the leaders to design visions that are guided by the values to help align all their activities with the values. In the case of the East African Community Counter-terrorism Unit, the leaders must come up with visions that do not conflict with the values of all the countries that subscribe to the East African Community (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis & Clegg, 2011).
A vision should not be abstract. It should have the capacity to be translated into practical activities. Therefore, the vision must be developed to prevent a situation from escalating and improving the productivity of the organisation. In other words, the leader must explain to the rest of the organisation why he or she believes the vision is the right one for the organisation (Criswell &Talula, 2011).
Essential Element 2
Another crucial element that will help implement the vision of EAC, consistent progress deserves to be mentioned. While the specified element is very close to the one that was described previously, i.e., information acquisition and spreading, it involves a different type of operation. Unlike information acquisition, progress requires that the data obtained in the process of communication should be digested and that the corresponding conclusions should be drawn. In other words, the specified element is another stage of information management, which can technically be defined as information processing.
Almost all companies and organisations consider their growth a very critical aspect in the designing of their visions (Criswell &Talula, 2011). The leaders usually want to leave legacies after their departure. Therefore, they have made the inclusion of the growth factor an almost mandatory factor in their visions. Some even come up with visions after some duration of time. They strive to achieve particular visions within set time frames before coming up with new visions (Collins & Porras, 1996). In the case of the East African Community Counter-terrorism Unit, the leaders should come up with a vision that can help them grow into the biggest anti-terrorism unit in the whole of Africa. Essentially, their vision should aim at extending the magnitude of the unit’s ability in the fight against terrorism (Kotter, 2012).
Good visions also aim at changing the way organisations and companies carry out their operations (Criswell &Talula, 2011). Changing the manner of operation, usually, occurs when current or previous methods of handling problems fail to achieve the desired goals. However, change must be feasible. Employees and other people in the surrounding always judge whether the plans their leaders come up with are achievable or not (Catlin & Matthews, 2002). Hence, apart from concentrating on effecting change, leaders should also consider the feasibility of their plans. Nonetheless, the vision should bring change in the running of the organisation (Kotter, 1996).
Final Vision Statement
The best visions are ones that integrate all the steps described in this paper (Criswell &Talula, 2011). Many organisations and companies have tested each of the steps, and they have all proved to be effective. Therefore, organisations that work best use all the steps concurrently. The East African Community Counter-terrorism Unit must integrate all the five steps to come up with a good vision for their unit.
Vision statement: Embracing intelligence with the view of becoming the biggest counter-terrorism unit in Africa by 2020.
Visions are very critical ingredients in the management of organisations and companies. However, coming up with a good vision requires some strategy. Precisely, leaders must think about unique ideas, consider the values of their communities and have reasons for the creation of their visions. Also, they must be committed to changing their operations and growing their companies. Lastly, they must integrate all the steps to get the best results. This paper has looked at how the EAC can use these methods in fighting terrorism.
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