Developing a Vision for Your Organization: A Great Team Building Experience

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building-your-companys-vision-overview-of-key-concepts3 (link to a Powerpoint presentation)

Of all the workshops and ideations sessions I facilitate,  I believe the best team building experiences are created through my vision workshops. Both new and existing teams benefit immensely from this experience. The most essential piece for the success of the workshop is the participation of senior leadership. If the senior leaders and present and are openly and honestly seeking the input of the team these sessions are wonderful bonding experiences for all involved.

I based my vision workshops off of the the HBR article on vision written by James Collins and Jerry Porras titled “Building Your Company’s Vision.”   They introduce the idea that vision is made up of “core ideology” and an “envisioned future.” When developing “core ideology,” which consists of core values and core purpose, it’s essential that the group that does the actual work in the organization has input into the ideology. Core values must reflect the values of the people who come to do the work every day; if they do not, the values are irrelevant! The core purpose articulates the reason the organization exists. The people  who come to work at your organization everyday should have a passion for doing that work. 

The “envisioned future,” which consists of a BIG goal and a vivid description of that goal help the group paint a picture of what the future looks like. It creates alignment within the group and has everyone marching toward the same goal.  Simply put, if you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter how you get there! The envisioned future gets everyone onto the same path so that efforts are synergystic and effective in moving the organization forward.

 I have attached a short Powerpoint presentation that summarizes the key concepts from the HBR article. I have added some additional examples for non-profits. I have found this way of thinking about vision to be just as effective for non-profit organizations as it is for corporations.

Please feel free to send any questions!

Cindy Diamond
President and CEO Diamond Marketing Solutions / IGNiTE
A strategy, innovation and creativity consulting firm
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3 thoughts on “Developing a Vision for Your Organization: A Great Team Building Experience

  1. Developing vision workshop (ones that are poorly facilitated) become a huge waste of time where the execs. go to an overpriced resort and return with a fluff vision statement that has not staying power or meaning the the people whom they are leading.
    Cindy I enjoyed your mention of Collins because I feel he has it right, the core of the organization is a vision. I like to use the word Mantra. A mantra is a 3-4 word statement that sums up your vision. For example, “Enriching Womas Lives” = Mary Kay Cosmetics. Short potent and their vision.
    Unfortunetly many companies create a 60 – 70 word vision statement that is DEAD!

    I tend to lean more on the idea of a mission than a vision. A vision is one that puts up strict walls or boundaries on a team. Creating a “Vision” seems to authoritarian for me and the team I consult.
    I prefer Mission – what the leadership and team want done, i.e. a car that can run for 100 miles without using fossil fuels.

    Also – I could not find the link to the power point.

    Mike

  2. Hi Cindy and Michael
    Vision vs Mission has lead to many religious wars in facilitation circles. Though aware of the thin ice and at the risk of saying what you already know, I would like to suggest we need both.

    Mission tells us what we are about.
    I see you have a post on Values which is great. The values tell us what is important to us.

    So in Michael’s example the mission of the team might be, “we are a bunch of ‘green’, switched on engineers pushing the envelope in the motor-car industry”
    Our values may include “sustainable usage of resources, extraordinary innovation and offering practical solutions” And hopefully “not being bought out by the big guys in the oil or motor industry”.

    And our Vision tells us where we want to get to as we go about being who we are.

    A vision statement may be ” to be marketing a car, that runs 100 miles without using fossil fuels, by the end of 2010″

    What is the difference between a vision that puts up strict, authoritarian walls and a vision that gives the team a focus?

    By the way, I often do an exercise, also from Jim Collins where I get the team to define their “Purpose” as an intersection between three concepts (What is our passion? What can we be the best at in the world? And what is our economic denominator?) I find this usually turns on lights.

    Cheers hey

    Stephen

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