Vision is a method for determining a compelling image of a preferred future. Visioning a preferred future is the next step in creating a powerful strategy to achieve a particular purpose. It follows after having done a thorough environmental scan, identification of key driving forces and development of scenarios (probable futures) that then allow the selection of the preferred future from the analysis.
Uses of the method
- Corporate culture
- Strategic planning
- Project design
- Visioning inspires, engages and enables most people.
- Excellent for generating ideas, encouraging interaction and agreeing common vision, values, processes and goals.
- Requires solid communication and continued strong leadership from the outset.
- Must be lived, shared, stretching but achievable and ethical.
Steps to complete
- Select participants in the initial exercise.
- Explore participants’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the status quo and the past.
- Explore the future through doing an environmental scan that identifies the key driving forces.
- Create scenarios that offer most probable futures and agree the preferred future.
- Offer an opportunity to fantasize on what a new and better future might look like in the preferred future.
- Develop the most interesting ideas into solutions and outline projects.
- Rank and group the solutions and outline projects.
- Create an audacious, unique, inspiring, engaging and enabling vision that is memorable, emotional, aligning, aspirational and stretching but achievable in a reasonable time-frame e.g. 'A Man on the Moon in the Next Decade', 'Never Knowingly Undersold', 'We Try Harder!'
- Identify the best direction, cultural fit, processes and measures to deliver the organizations future purpose through the framework. Ensure the rationale is clear and explicit and focuses on building profit potential. Determine 1-5 distinctive competencies that will distinguish the organization in the future marketplace.
- Compare your new vision to the old and identify the differences in approach between them.
- Review your vision by asking yourself, your team, your stakeholders: "What's exciting?", "What are the roadblocks" and "How do we overcome them?". Modify your strategy accordingly.
- Create an excellent communication plan.
- Find quick wins after announcement.
- Reinforce with projects and initiatives that show determination and commitment to the vision.
- Determine the fixed elements (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
- Capture critical variables i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
- Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.
Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses. These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.
- The Future: Strategic Visioning Methods for Government, Business, and Other Organizations, Sheila R.Ronis, Hamilon Press, 2007
- Built to Last: Jim Collin and Jerry Porras, Harper Paperbacks 2002
- Futures Research Methodology- Version 3.0, Millennium Project, 2009 CD ROM
- Sculptures - Mycoted
- Aspirational Futures: Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures
- The Appreciative Perspective of the Future, Rosa Alegria
- Making the Future Visible: Psychology, Scenarios, and Strategy, Hardin Tibbs, September 1998
- TEDxNoosa 2013 | Sohail Inayatullah | Causal layered analysis?
- SOAR: Jackie Stavros and Gina Hinrichs, AI Practitioner, 2007
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.
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