by John P. Kotter, Harvard Business Review, April 22, 2014
“…Briefly, here is the idea: a Big Opportunity articulates in language that is analytically accurate and emotionally compelling an opportunity that will move an organization forward in a substantial way. It is that exciting possibility which, if you can capitalize on it, will place you into a prosperous, winning future. It is related to vision and strategy in a very straightforward way: a strategy shows you what you need to get to a vision; a vision shows you what you will be doing if you get to, and are able to capitalize on, a big opportunity.
A written statement of a Big Opportunity can be a very useful tool. It is short, like a vision statement, and unlike a strategy description which is often much longer. “Short” usually means about half a page long. The crisp clarity of it is one of its advantages. Another is its tone. Both strategies and visions can sound like: OK, this is what top management has decided and now you will go do it. Effective Big Opportunity statements direct attention to an inspiring rainbow outside; they don’t feel like a finger pointing out what the managerial and employee children should be doing inside the organization…”