Many organisations talk about creating a vision for their future. However what many do is to create a vision statement. This just doesn’t work for me. Visions need to be inspirational and for this to happen they really need to soar above the limitations of words.
For this reason, I usually recommend creating a future vision through image work, at least in the first instance. To check out ideas for creating a vision using drawing, take a look here. In my next blogpost I will take a look at some other tools for creating vision, such as collage.
Ok, so you have an inspirational vision and you have shared or even better co-created it with your employees, colleagues, family. What next?
One process that you can try, is to create a storyboard to show both your future vision, where you are now, and the steps to get there. This seems to be versatile enough to satisfy people who need a structured approach, and is also attractive to people who dislike a structured approach. For this latter category it can be fun to complete all the boxes using images.
To complete your storyboard
Take a large piece of paper and create 6 numbered boxes as shown.
- Put your vision image into box 6, and in box 1 you put a picture to represent where you are now.
- Brainstorm the gap between where you are now and your future vision. Find other people to work with on this.
- Turn the ideas coming out if this brainstorm into actions.
- Put all the actions down on a separate piece of paper and then work out where they fit on the journey from box 1 to box 6.
- It is often difficult to take those first steps from box 1 to box 2 . It’s a bit like stepping into treacle and you may get stuck. Working backwards from box 6 can help in this process. so ask yourself, what is the last action I need in place before I achieve my vision.
For people who are less structured, this can remain as a loose journey based upon some big action steps. Drawing them can be fun and inspiring.
If you are a more structured person then you can work with defining each step and adding targets etc to them. Bullet proofing can be helpful at this stage to check out what can prevent and what can help achievement of the final vision.
This process can be used in many different ways. for example, I have coached people to use it to develop their strategy, or to map out their personal and professional development. It is also very useful as a process withing creative problem solving to pull together the different stages of the process.
I hope this has given you some ideas for working with putting vision into reality. The next step to take is to do exactly that – take some action!
Barbara is an executive coach, leadership and creativity facilitator. She has coached women and men in a variety of corporate settings, and has developed a unique approach to using creative techniques in her coaching and workshops to enable change at a group or individual level. She has recently co-authored a book on creativity for leaders, called Creativity Cycling , with Dr. Tracy Stanley. The use of storyboarding and how it fits into creative problem solving is covered in this book.