CREATING INSPIRING VISIONS
To create an inspiring vision we begin by looking at the desired future. It focuses on the positives of what we want to create. Full of specific things you can see, as well as taking intuitive leaps into the unknown. We will encourage your team in practical thinking and freedom of the imagination process; so the group can express its real hopes and dreams in creating a culture that takes care of people, profit and planet.
An inspiring vision that a team co-creates is the glue that holds them together. Participation in creating an inspiring vision aligns team members around shared values and a common cause to make a difference. Creating common cause gives people courage to endure the pain of change, unleashes passion and positivity.
We will guide your team through the Technology of Participation (ToP) strategic planning process.
ToP (Technology of Participation) Strategic Planning Process
The approach enables a group to think strategically. It is highly participatory and builds consensus. It assumes that everyone has a piece of the puzzle; every person involved can make a valuable contribution. The group will have history and experience to build upon.
Results of using a Participatory Workshop Process:
Shared: a single or group product all stakeholders can commit to.
Practical: written in concrete, descriptive language of nouns and adjectives in the present tense.
Intentional: describing where the organization will be in 3-5 years.
Familiar: clearer and deeper but not different than what each individual had in mind before.
Inspiring: calling participants to stretch a bit and take responsibility for the future.
So how do we do this?
1. Mission & Purpose
Answers the question “What is our purpose?” Defining the mission and writing a mission statement articulates the organization’s intention and connects to the personal sense of purpose. This connection will give the group enhanced motivation, commitment, and fulfillment. Sound strategy is not enough; it must be founded upon a clearly stated mission that is understood by all members of an organization.
2. Creating an Inspiring Practical Vision
We begin by looking at the Practical Vision – the desired future. The orientation is toward the positive – the situation we want to create. The facilitator encourages practical thinking and freedom of the imagination; so the group can express its real hopes and dreams. A great vision will paint a believable picture of the possible future and make the group’s heart soar. The idea is to create the vision of the organization together with the key stakeholders whose support and commitment are critical to success. Every stakeholder has a piece of the puzzle. No one has the whole picture until the group creates it together.
3. Underlying Obstacles
The next step is to discover the Underlying Obstacles – the things getting in the way of realizing the vision. Obstacles are sociological realities like structures, policies and operating patterns that say no to the vision. An obstacle is not a lack of something. Discerning the underlying obstacles shows the doorway to the future. When people come to terms with the real barriers they face, they can use them to leverage an organization and open the way to creative strategies.
4. Strategic Directions
The fourth task in ToP strategic planning is to create Strategic Directions to deal with the obstacles and move toward the vision. As soon as you become aware of an obstacle, you get a hint of what can be done about it. Strategic directions represent judgments and decisions made by the group which will put it in an advantageous situation in the future. Strategies are never something that is performed, but rather a crucial arena of action – a pathway towards a breakthrough.
The strategies will have a wide span of involvement to engage key stakeholders and serve as a communication vehicle for the vision to develop a deeper awareness for the need to change, something that the stakeholders ask for.
5. Action Plan
The Action Plan is the final task in the ToP strategic planning process. The group forges clear, step-by-step plans for each strategic direction, creating a coordinated action plan for immediate implementation. After deciding upon measurable accomplishments for the strategic directions, the group selects those actions that can break through the inertia that has kept them mired in the past. The challenge is to design a plan that will really make something happen; a plan that will qualitatively transform the situation. When people work with their colleagues at this level, the creativity and energy can be explosive. The group has invented a totally new plan and formed a sense of real commitment to success.