Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vision - Look Behind You

I am increasingly convinced that a key to crafting direction, for organizations as well as individuals, is to look into the past. With few (if any) exceptions what we will become at our best is rooted in things that have been true since our beginning.

When I work with individuals on figuring out their best context it is invaluable to spend 45 minutes hearing stories from earlier in their life of things they enjoyed doing and felt they did well. Reflection on those things makes figuring out next steps much easier.

The same is true for organizations. Dr. Carson Pue of Arrow Leadership International shares his thoughts in his latest To The Point e-newsletter:

...the board of directors and I devoted a year to listening to God and seeking His guidance as to the future vision for our organization. We had seasons during this pursuit that drained us, so we asked a friend and strategic partner to come and facilitate a board vision meeting. It was during this day that I heard from him one of the most profound statements I have ever heard on vision. Here it is…
“The seeds of your future are found in what you have already been doing.”

Futurist John Scharr affirms this as well reminding us that, "The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.” We have already been creating our future! So we spent a half day reviewing what we have been doing over the past 18 years – made a list of these and our ‘vision’ popped out at us. It is a grounded vision - and has lots of traction. As a result our team is energized, committed and filled with meaning.

Maybe it is time to ground your vision?

The visioning process is draining and unpleasant when we get bogged down in concepts and semantics, but it is quite invigorating when we turn our attention to the best of our past to see the best of our future. Try it.

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