The visioning process is all about setting goals. Group participation is key. Having group members put forward their ideas at this early stage helps to get some ‘skin in the game’. And, personal contribution counts for a great deal when it comes to being committed to the success of a big project.
Visioning, as you would expect, typically takes place at the start of a new project. It should, by definition, look forward. While the facilitation tool of visioning is often strategy-led (and all the more boring because of it), you shouldn’t be afraid to introduce a little imagination. Facilitators should encourage all participants to make an interactive investment in the process.
Here’s 3 ways to make the most use of visioning as a facilitation tool:
How long have you got? Is there a specific time frame? Big projects usually begin with a goal that has attached dates. Six months? A year? The visioning process is all about imagining how you will reach the goal, so it helps to be as realistic as possible in terms of time.
Even if your project is much more general - surrounding business direction and strategy perhaps - it is still helpful to apply a time scale. 5 years? 10 years? Assess your purpose, reflect on your core ideology and evaluate your mission statement. Time can help you get talking. And, hearing as many voices as possible is critical to the success of any visioning process.
What have you done well? Consider the major accomplishments of your organisation. What worked? Why was it so successful? Who helped make it happen? Discussing your ‘big wins’ can be good for team morale and again, they can encourage people to talk. (Analysing the things that haven’t worked can be just as illuminating in terms of mapping a viable route forward. However, facilitators should beware the bitching matches that are inevitably bubbling away.)
Look at your people. Who is working well together? What kind of people are they? Is there a collective culture? What structure or set of practices are allowing these working relationships to blossom? Are there lessons to be learned? Remember, the most successful organisations are those who look after their people. Successful visioning allows everyone to be a part of the action.
The alignment of views can create a good level of energy and allows the group to reach a shared vision. When a group is clear about the desired outcomes of a meeting, they are more likely to crack on with the work.
For more information on facilitation tools, check out our Infographic: Process Tools for Effective Meeting Facilitation