Visioning and Problem Solving: Live!
Let us join you to explore your vision and the ‘roadblocks’ to your vision. Creating the vision is the heart of the session and depending on your needs we can add some or all of the following activities to strengthen the vision and clarify what actions the team will take in moving towards it.
Visioning and Problem Solving
There is an old Japanese proverb, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare”.
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about”
Let us join you to explore your vision and the ‘roadblocks’ to your vision.
- Creating the vision is the heart of the session and depending on your needs we can add some or all of the following activities to strengthen the vision and clarify what actions the team will take in moving towards it.
- The Story So Far – a valuable activity for new or re-organised teams where trust levels may not be high – this activity can last for up to an hour and asks team members to describe their professional journeys so far, the high and low points, the key changes. The end graphic poster typically captures the complexity of the past and the ever-changing territory the team works within. For some teams this process is key to allowing them to take the step into the future that building a shared vision requires.
- Headline Themes – a 15 – 20 minute activity which asks the group to capture the essence of their vision in 3 or 4 memorable ‘headline’ summary phrases
- Naming the Nightmare – no more than 5 to 10 minutes is needed for this activity. Here we ask people to name their ‘nightmares’ – the things they would hate to see happening in their organisation or community. We don’t dwell on this nor do we encourage the same level of detailed description that we expect in the vision. However we have learned that some teams/individuals need the extra energy that is released by naming and working to avoid the nightmare.
- A Year from Now – a 30 – 45 minute activity which asks the team to imagine they have travelled in time and are now a year ahead from today and are looking back at what they have achieved. The rule is that the events they remember must be ‘positive and possible’ This is a more ‘playful’ activity and often releases energy and creativity in the team
- Naming Roadblocks and Barriers – a 45-minute activity which asks the team to name what they see as the important barriers that stand in the way of achieving their vision. We encourage the group to be as specific as they can about these roadblocks as they write them onto cards, which are then posted over the vision graphic. The team then problem solves together in twos and threes devising ways of going round, removing or reducing the roadblocks until a point is reached where most of the vision is uncovered again. This is an energising activity for teams that feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of issues confronting them
- Who will we need to take with us on the Journey towards the Vision – a 20 minute activity that asks the team to name key people who will need to be fully on board before work on the vision can begin in earnest. This activity begins with the people in the room who are invited to sign up to the vision there and then. It also asks the team to create a (small) list of people that the vision needs to be shared with and seek their support. With the creation of this list the team begin to chart some their first actions from the day
- Who are we? – Gifts, Strengths and Talents – a 30 minute activity which encourages the team to take explicit stock of their capacities and what they already have going for them as they begin working towards the vision. We do this in various ways – by asking individuals to talk about a time in their professional lives (or beyond) when they felt they were at their best, by asking the group as a whole to notice and name each others gifts and talents. This is a strong reminder for teams of the wealth of knowledge and experience that is already and always in the room
- Charting Specific Actions – a 30 to 40 minute activity done initially in pairs and then in groups of four. The team members are asking to start naming a sample of actions they can do in the next few days/week/month and how these actions relate to the vision. We actively coach the group to name actions that they themselves are going to do – not simply a good idea for someone else to do and which are more than just ‘good intentions’
“Thank you so much for the work you did with us yesterday – I have since been in 2 schools today and have spoken to an number of other colleagues who were present – all were totally overwhelmed by the session – they loved it.”
“I was totally blown away, when I realised how passionate people were about SEAL”
“So nice to reflect and realise what a long way we have come”
“That was so powerful and motivational”.
- To create a far reaching and shared vision of the future for the team/group you are working with and ensure that each person present contributes to this
- To create a visual representation (a graphic) of the vision and use this to plan future actions
- To facilitate the group in thinking through what some of the barriers to achieving their vision are and to begin work on how these can be removed
- To build a sense of commitment, common purpose and trust within the team/group
Who Is It For ?
- Public and voluntary sector leaders who want to hold meaningful consultations with the groups they serve
- Headteachers and school managers who want to bring staff/parents/governors and young people together around a shared vision of their future work
- Local Authority teams who have come together to deliver national initiatives in their local context
- Any group of people who want to articulate their common purposes, name the roadblocks to achieving these and start to chart actions which move past the perceived barriers
The facilitation of a shared vision can be delivered as a full or a half day but, unlike our other training days this day depends on your and your team’s needs and the time you have available.
We will always begin the session with a range of activities and reflections designed to set the tone for the work to be done. And we will typically follow this up with a session lasting at least an hour where we ask all present to reflect on what matters most to them about their work, what they would love to see happening if there were no constraints on time, people, resources etc. We then ask individuals in twos and threes to share their thinking first with each other then with the whole group. We encourage participants to use their imaginations to the fullest and to stretch their thinking as far as they can as they describe what they would love to see happening in the future – even if they have no idea of how they could get there. This part of the process is not about being realistic – it is about establishing the direction of travel. We facilitate the group to become more grounded as the session progresses. As people give voice to their thinking the essence of what they say is captured on a large and colourful graphic mounted at the front of the room – similar to the image at the start of this section.
Creating the vision is the heart of the session and depending on your needs we can add some or all of the following activities to strengthen the vision and clarify what actions the team will take in moving towards it.
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