STP offers several visioning tools authored by Robert Gass. For this month’s featured tool we thought it would be a good idea to ask Robert some questions and have him elaborate on how these tools can help change efforts.
Why are visioning tools important and what do they do?
One of the most important tasks of every leader of Progressive organizations is to help our groups share a clear, powerful and inspiring vision.
Ask yourself this, does it feel like everyone in your team is pulling in the same direction? Is there a tendency towards mission drift? Could every person regardless of their position, give an accurate description of your organization’s purpose and mission? Is there a shared dream of a clear and compelling pathway to the future?
Visioning tools help generate engagement, creativity, and energy for creating a shared future and values in our organizations and coalitions. They help provide the direction and cohesion that teams need to be powerful and effective.
Which tools in the set are the best place to start?
The “Future Travel Process” and “Magazine Article Process” are great for kicking off any visioning process for: organizational change efforts; a new program, campaign or initiative; birthing a collaboration, network or alliance; and so on. These two exercises help free the imagination from limitations and roadblocks, allowing us to dream together a future worth investing in, and a credible pathway for achieving it.
Besides creating a vision for the future what else can these tools do for teams?
These tools are excellent team building exercises. A shared vision is more than words on paper. These tools help create interactive experiences that help people forge alignment, build trust, and co-evolve a common framework for doing the work.
The “Values Creation Process” takes this further, helping teams and organizations identify and articulate shared values. It is a powerful tool for helping to create more effective and harmonious work cultures.
“Vision Stands” is a very successful exercise used in your leadership trainings, but not all of us are leaders. How do “Vision Stands” help teams?
“Vision Stands,” are actually an excellent tool for leadership development for anyone regardless of their title. This exercise helps every team member step up to their individual commitment to fulfill their organization’s vision, while helping create new norms of more open communication and feedback.
Any last thoughts?
These exercises are powerful tools for helping create more effective social change organizations. They are relatively easy to facilitate, engaging and generate energy and direction for groups to realize their potential.
Download these tools here, and share them with your teams and organizations.