Vision is the two-fold ability to:
1) Accurately see the current reality of your organization/situation.
2) Creatively see the possibilities for the future of your organization/situation.
Try this simple activity to make the concept of vision more concrete, actionable, and enduring:
Step One: Make 2 lists. Each list will have three items.
List #1: List three words or phrases that describe your organization as it IS NOW, but you wish were NOT true.
List #2: List three words or phrases you WISH would describe your organization, but ARE NOT true now.
Here’s an example from a client:
List #1: [Current reality, not desirable] Pessimistic, stressed people, culture of fear.
List #2: [Ideal reality, what’s desired] Forward-thinking, celebratory, high-achieving.
Step Two: Ask yourself, “Which of these six words/phrases describes me?”
Take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself which of those six words or phrases accurately describes you in the CURRENT situation. Write down your answer.
I’m definitely pessimistic and stressed. I would hope that I am forward-thinking. Not sure I show it, though.
Step Three: Set a new goal for yourself.
In this step, set a goal to either eliminate one of the undesirables, or take on one of the desirables.
In the example, the client team member committed to end pessimistic behaviors by never again saying anything about impending trouble or the gloom of the current state, unless it was in a problem-solving meeting.
By adhering to this goal, he become part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Additionally, he took an important step in developing vision — the ability to objectively assess the current state and creatively picture the ideal state.
What if everyone on your team did this exercise? You, as the leader, get a better picture of what’s going on. Team members get to be heard, and they also realize how to be part of the solution.
Thanks for reading,