Helps groups decide where to go or be at some point in the future.
Have you ever had a problem getting a group of friends or family to agree on where to go to eat? Now try to get a group of bright professionals to agree on where they are headed! It is much easier to ask and build consensus around “Where have you been ?” or, “What type of legacy have you left behind ?”
This step defines the specific vision of the organization—where it wants to go. A vision is a desired position specified in sufficient detail so that an organization recognizes it when they reach it. Effort is directed towards attaining the vision. Vision drives objectives.
Clearly and properly defined vision statement results.
Use the tactile method with sub-teams as follows:
Hand out recent copies of an appropriate industry or organizational or trade magazine or periodical familiar to the participants. Turn them to a specific page (could be the front cover) or column that is frequently read. The Wall Street Journal could be a default publication that you use, but decide which section will display the headline based on the nature of the group you are working with.
Have each group develop a newspaper headline that they would like to read on the date of their vision—eg, “What would the headline read on January 15, 20xx?” Have them embellish the headline with the story behind the headline.
Bring the teams together to compare and contrast. Work the Bookends looking for similarities and differences. First work the headline. The story items supporting the headlines can also be used to support detailing the vision.
NOTE: Pretend they are on a beach in the future and pick up this periodical, what you are really asking them is “What is the legacy you have left behind as a result of the effort we began today?”
This step is complete when you have a statement (not necessarily grammatically pure), that the group believes captures the target or vision of where they want to go. Check with them to see if they can recognize the target defined by their vision and can tell when they arrive.
See the following websites for headlines from around the world to support your handouts:
Let us know what you think by commenting below. For additional methodology and team-based meeting support for your change initiative, refer to “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need.
Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership-training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you’re working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.