A Few Words About Vision

“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
–Audre Lorde

There seems to be a frightening lack of vision in the world. People want things to be different, but they are unable, or more likely, unwilling to imagine what that different world looks like. Or maybe, they have a good understanding of their own values, and have developed a personal vision, and are simply not sharing it with other like-minded people. Nothing will ever change without a shared vision of how things could be.

shared visionImage: Minnesota Design Team

 The image above is an important concept for leaders to understand and appreciate. If you look at the number of arrows in each of the three sections, you will notice that they decrease as you move from “no vision” to “shared vision.” Movements and campaigns do not start out on a large scale. A shared vision is the result of people in small groups sharing their values with others. It is through the understanding of their common values that people begin to create a shared vision.

Your vision should be:

  • reflective of shared values;
  • explained in the least complex way possible;
  • realistically achievable;
  • and it should motivate people to act, moving them to look beyond their limitations.

A vision isn’t just a dream. It’s a dream and a plan. When stakeholders share similar values, they can begin to develop a shared vision by asking these three questions:

  1. What is?
  2. What could be?
  3. What events could affect that change?

Simply put, shared values lead to a shared vision, which leads to shared ownership of creating change, and ultimately shared benefits for all stakeholders.

(For more on values see, Narrowing The Gap Between Our Ideal And Our Real Values)

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