Developing a vision

Vision development#

Once we have been able to explore the problem space sufficiently to start asking the right questions, we can start to articulate a picture of what the solution may look like. This may take many forms as a dialogue, a speech, visuals or physical mockups.

One of the most famous TED Talks is Nancy Duarte’s Secret Structure of Great Talks where she outlines the pattern of great speeches - essentially that they occilate between “What is” and “What could be” to finally end up in the “New Norm”. The best articulations of a transformation vision will use this technique, to make clear not only where things need to go, but why.

Getting the right stakeholders#

Getting stakeholders to agree on the right direction is never an easy task. In fact, this agreement is largely the “deliverable” of any strategy work. The fancy diagrams and snazzy presentation packs are just the artefacts of this agreement - they are the proof that consensus was reached.

Or at least that is the theory.

In my experience many so-called “stakeholders” of the strategy are just not bought into it. They are not engaged sufficiently and on their terms enough for strategy to accurately represent their perspective. Too often “management” will go away and decree a strategy from upon high for those lower down the org chart to implement.

While there certainly is value in a strong management perspective, relying it alone will undermine any future change management opportunities by not engaging with stakeholders at all levels adequately. Furthermore, fresh and innovative points of view are more likely to come from those outside of the management bubble and less subject to path dependence.

5 Bold Steps Vision Canvas. Rather than long winded emails and discussion papers, get your team together in a shared space and try a canvas approach.

Liberating Structures is one of the most important techniques for anyone who is interested in radically inclusive faciliation and workshops. You can read more about the background from their site and this is a great take on them from a scrum master’s perspective. I believe that if you are not running your workshops using some of these, or similar methods, you are missing an opportunity to be remarkable.