There comes a time when all our big dreams need to be brought down to earth, mingled with reality, and framed as an achievable vision. Right?
Yes to that. And quickly as possible. Who doesn’t yearn to see their vision realized? Yesterday.
We must continually stretch our view of what’s possible. Hence, a word of caution:
Do not move too quickly to articulate a vision statement, much less to create plans for making it operational. Don’t sweat the language, yet. Especially when
working with your team and first catching glimpses of new possibilities,
we want our words merely to be like “fingers pointing at the moon.”
Because as soon as we put specific words to it, we will be
limiting our vision to what we already know
how to do.
As David Whyte has said:
“Whatever we can
plan, is too small
for us to live.”
Building on the visioning activity offered in the January Tip of the Month, we recommend inviting the team to approach this follow up session as a transition from visioning to planning.
There is much that we can accomplish in this space between the dream and reality. Especially since our interest is to reach a new destination. We are aiming for results that have previously eluded us, right? This means we’ll need to take a different path than we have travelled before to get there.
You know the drill:
“To get a place that we do not know, we must go by a way that we do not know.”
Here is SEED’s equation for success:
Ongoing Shared Reflection
Shared Vision plus Shared Values multiplied by ongoing Shared Reflection equals Social Change
When the vision is locally owned and rooted in many diverse inputs, we are guaranteed many hands to implement it.
To the contrary, when one person proscribes the destination and delegates, it’s an entirely different project. People don’t show up; a few folks get worn out doing all the work, and the results are not remotely as meaningful, lasting, nor relevant to the diverse communities we want the vision to impact.
Has your vision been enlivened with the team’s core values? There are many ways to discover shared values. At SEED we also like to draw from the “being values” that Abraham Maslow developed in his work. Here’s one simple exercise:
Maslow "Being Values"
DISC OV E R
We’d love to hear how this works for you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Invite the team to select just two values that will really power up your work this year. For example, let’s say that one value you choose is “simplicity.”
Let’s hear from each member of our team:
When have you experienced simplicity in a powerful way?
Invite people to briefly share a personal story in pairs. This will begin to bring the promise of simplicity to life in the room.
Now let’s go one step further and get it in our bodies. Invite the team: Stand up and BE simplicity, i.e., pretend that you are simplicity.
What changed in your body when you became simplicity? Did your shoulders
relax? Did you breathing shift? What?
Everyone can be seated for the final question:
Imagine that ‘Simplicity” walks into the room to advise us about how we
should implement our vision. What would Simplicity say to us?
Repeat the exercise for an additional "being value" the team wants to keep alive in your work this year. Take notes to inform our upcoming planning session.