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June 21, 2011


What is a vision?
A vision is a deeply held picture of where a person or group wants to get to in the future. When everyone in a group thoroughly understands and shares the same vision they become intensely motivated. They will apply their whole selves to achieve their vision.
A holistic vision
The vision needs to engage the whole person if it is to be powerfully motivating. The richer it is, the more people will commit to it. Thus, a vision can use pictures and words. It can appeal to the mind and the emotions. It can make financial and spiritual sense. Creating one requires logic and imagination. All the stakeholders in the business, including customers and suppliers would own a shared holistic vision. All would say "It means so much to me to be part of this venture".
Practical methods
You can use these methods and others for developing groups and individuals. You can also mix elements of the methods to suit the situation and culture.
Pairs and share
Ask people to think about how they would like things to be in their work or life. Ask people to take turns listening to each other as they each explore this question. Then ask each person to summarise the main points of their vision to the total group. Encourage the group to listen and avoid criticism. At the end, focus on the common vision. Set up a planning process where people work together to achieve their vision.
You can use a picture of your vision to make it concrete and attractive. When you describe the picture and what it means to you, you use your imaginative and logical side. You often get surprising insights from your own and other people's pictures. Perhaps we edit our imagination less than our logic. The pictures create the data about how an individual wants things to be. Then share the data in the group, focus it and decide what to do. Pairs and share (above) is one good method. Another is to use the "Verb/Noun" process described below.
When a team has developed a common direction, they can easily agree on the priority issues that they need to work on to achieve it.
In change management
Managing change is a three-step process. You have to be clear about how things are now, about how you want things to be in the future, and about how to get there. 

You can use any of the methods above to create clarity on all three steps.

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