Visioning – A Change Management Tool
Visioning is a powerful method for getting an organization to adapt to change. Visioning is when you create a vision of the future state and the organization changes to adapt to the vision.
With visioning, the vision must be unique and short enough to be both memorable and repeatable in the absence of the leader. Memorable and repeatable! People should be able to see themselves and the organization in the vision. Once the vision is defined the goals and objectives should naturally fall out of it
In the famous book “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen he makes the premise that a man eventually changes to match his thoughts, if your thoughts are noble you become noble, if your thoughts are impure you become impure. Allen’s premise has wide acceptance on a personal level, but it is also part of the power behind visioning
Can the organization become transformed without having a vision of the future condition?
As a leader you should be able to visualize the change and communicate it in a way that allows the stakeholders to visualize the change. The stakeholders should be able to see themselves as individuals operating in the future state. Consider the quote by Harriet Lerner “Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.” Organizational change requires personal change.
An excellent tool to create actionable visions that I have used with success was shared with me by Dr. Marilyn Buckner. It is an exercise where leaders have to imagine themselves two to four years into the future and a reporter from a magazine is going to write a story about their organizations turnaround and/or success and how it was created. The article is approximately 1500 words and they have to write it
This article about the successful future state of the organization is then used as a basis for visioning, constructing the plans that support the vision. The article establishes the vision, the vision creates the change process.
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