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spike bullet February 2007 - Visioning for the Future

Visioning for the Future
Getting Started
Using a Guided Visioning Technique
The 7 archetypes
Putting it all Together
Resources (links, books, articles, Multi-media)

color bullet Visioning for the Future

This month we discuss how to use the strong creative energy of 2007 to create what you want in the future.  Many people may have heard the term "visioning" and wondered what is was or what you do.  We’ve also been asked to give more case studies, so in this article, we go into much more detail about each step than we do in most articles.

This month, we will describe a 7-step visioning process that can be used for many different areas: an organization (company, government agency, business, non-profit, community group or a unit of a larger organization), a new project or a new vision for personal goals.

For each step, we describe the step and why it is important, then give some examples of how the visioning might occur. You can then adjust for your own needs and interests.

Visioning is often done by executives when they do their strategic planning sessions.  In executive visioning, the management team usually decides what will be done and then tells the employees. In a community organization or an entrepreneurial company, there may be active involvement with many people who help to define the vision.

Visioning is also done by sports teams to help everyone be clear about the team’s goals. In this type of visioning, the team is trying to visualize their team winning and help the players be clear about their role in the team’s success.

Visioning is also a process done by people interested in personal growth and development.  Sometimes, they know what they want and the visioning process helps them get clear about how to achieve their goals.  Other times, a person is not sure what they should be setting as goals and uses the visioning process to be come clearer about what they want and how to get there.

There are many different ways and methods that can be used for visioning.  The method presented in this article is simply our method.  There is no absolute "right" method. In the descriptions, we use the archetypes and description consistent with our Personality Game archetypes.

Some general questions that can be asked during a visioning process:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (project, individual)?
  2. What must I/we become to empower the vision? (Where do I need to grow or develop . . . ?)
  3. What must be released? (What must go away or be let go?)
  4. What must be embraced? (What must be accepted, held or possessed?)
  5. What stands in the way of achieving this Highest Vision?
  6. What can be done to resolve (remove, dissolve, eliminate) the barriers in the way?
  7. Is there any other information that is needed in this moment?

Getting Started with Visioning

In planning for a visioning session or visioning series, each person and/or the group should be clear about what they are trying to achieve.

Before starting, ask questions like:

  1. What are we trying to achieve by entering into a visioning process?
  2. How much time and energy are we willing to devote to the process?
  3. Who needs to be involved?
  4. Do we need an outside facilitator or can we do it ourselves?
  5. What do we want as the result of our visioning? (e.g., a strategic plan, a budget, a project plan, a personal life goal, etc.)
  6. Are we open to possibilities other than those we have seen or done before?
  7. Are we willing to listen to others who may have different ideas than our own?

Using a Guided Visioning Technique

Our process describes a 7-step series devoted to learning how to vision and how to make changes using archetypes.  Each archetype represents a part of us — sometimes a strong part of us, sometimes a less prominent part.  We can draw on these multi-dimensional aspects within ourselves to become more of who we want to be and use that knowledge to create the future we seek.  Since the future has not yet happened, we can make it whatever we want it to be.

In the structure we are describing, the visioning could take place in 7 sessions, held maybe a week apart.  Each session could last 1 – 2 hours.  If visioning is done over a long day or a multi-day session, there should be time for breaks after each session when people can get up, take a walk, stretch and clear their minds.  If there is a large group participating, the visioning might need to be longer to allow for active discussions and sharing.  If the visioning is a single person, the sessions might be shorter and more compressed, perhaps an hour at a time, spread over several days or weeks.

The timing can be compressed or expanded to meet the needs of the individual or a group. If the visioning sessions are too short, there might not be enough time to do the work needed.  If they are too long or spread over a long period of time, people will lose interest and the results will be less successful.

At the first session, the group will review the "getting started" questions and answers.  If there is any disagreement about what the goal is, it can be resolved first or the first visioning session can focus on getting clear about the purpose.

Step 1: Focus on Initiation and the Server archetype.

In order to help others, we must learn how to serve ourselves first. The Server archetype has Service as its focus: How do we serve ourselves and how do we (or how should we) serve others?

Business/project visioning examples: An organization decides to do an assessment of their operations with a goal of improving what they do and how they do it.

In this example, the group could choose to look at how they serve themselves, what gets them excited, what gives them pleasure, what products or services they provide that make the most money or have been the most successful, and what products or services provide the most positive responses from customers.

The visioning group also could to look at their purpose now, what they do and how they do it, who their customers are and how they serve them now.  The visioning techniques will draw out what is right for the group at this time.

Personal visioning example: The first session will focus on identifying what is the highest Service you can give yourself, then with the Server archetype, look at how you serve yourself, what gets you excited, what gives you pleasure, when have you been most successful in your life, what aspects of yourself provide you the most positive relationships with others.  The visioning techniques will draw out what is right for you at this time.

Conducting a visioning session:

Someone should facilitate the visioning session.  People participating should have paper and pen/pencils ready.  You might also want to have crayons and sheets of unlined white paper for coloring.

Soft music is optional.  The room should be as quiet as possible with a minimum of distractions.  Chairs should be as comfortable as possible.  If people can be dressed casually, that is recommended for maximum comfort.

Cell phones, pagers and all other electronic "gadgets" that could interrupt the session should be turned off completely during the visioning.

People should get center themselves, take a few deep breaths and relax.  Let go of any thoughts or concerns other than being fully present in the moment.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas.

When everyone seems to be complete with a question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 1 focusing on Service, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to Service?
  2. What is it that I do now that provides Service to myself? What is it that we do now that provides Service to ourselves as a group?
  3. What is it that I do now that provides Service to others? What is it that we do now that provides Service to others?
  4. What must I become to empower the best possible Service to myself and to others? What must we become to empower the best possible Service to ourselves and to others? What growth or development needs to happen to provide the best Service?
  5. What stands in the way? What must be released in ourselves to achieve the Highest Vision? (What must we stop doing or what must be changed for ourselves or others?)
  6. What values must be embraced related to Service to ourselves or others?
  7. Is there any other information that is needed in this moment related to Service?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses with those present.  There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

For a personal visioning session, the person doing the visioning would have the questions ready and follow the same procedure, taking the questions one at a time, meditating on the question quietly, then answering each one on their own.  At the end, they would save the questions and responses until the entire visioning process is completed without judgment, discussion, debate, argument or second-guessing.  This is true for each of the other steps as well, so will not be repeated.

Step 2: Focus on Creativity and the Artisan archetype.

The second session of visioning focuses on learning how to draw out your own inner Creativity. In this session, we will practice visioning techniques that teach how to access your inner creativity to create the life you wantThe Artisan archetype represents the part of each of us that wants to create something new and to express ourselves in new ways. It also represents the part of us that needs to destroy something old in order to transform it in new ways.

As in the first session, the session should be facilitated, the room should be quiet, people should not have distractions as described above.

For the creativity session, it helps if people have bright colors in their clothes, are dressed casually and feel relaxed and well rested.  Crayons, paints, colored pens/pencils and colored paper are very helpful.  The room for the visioning might have colorful art, paintings or other items that represent color and encourage creativity.  The session could even be held outdoors if the weather is appropriate.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas.

When everyone seems to be complete with that question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 2 focusing on Creativity, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to Creativity?
  2. What is it that I do now that expresses Creativity for myself? What is it that we do now that expresses Creativity for ourselves as a group?
  3. What is it that I do now that expresses Creativity for others? What is it that we do now that expresses Creativity for others?
  4. What must I become to express Creativity for myself and to others? What must we become to express Creativity for ourselves and for others?
  5. What stands in the way of achieving the Highest Vision for Creativity? How can I/we use Creativity to release, change or transform (organization, project, individual) for ourselves or others?
  6. What values must be expressed related to Creativity for ourselves or others?
  7. Is there any other information that is needed in this moment related to Creativity?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses.  There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

Step 3: Focus on Planning, Organizing & Teamwork and the Warrior archetype.

The third session will focus on how to Plan and Organize for the changes you want to make in your life. In this session, we will practice on visioning techniques directed toward planning what is needed in preparation for making changes on your life.  The Warrior archetype is about partnership, teamwork and organizing activities. It is action oriented, likes to things to get done, likes results and measures accomplishments.

As in the first session, the session should be facilitated, the room should be quiet, people should not have distractions as described above.

For the 3rd session, it helps if people are dressed casually, and feel relaxed and well rested.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas.

When everyone seems to be complete with that question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 3 focusing on Planning, Organization & Teamwork, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to planning, organization & teamwork?
  2. What is it that I do now that demonstrates planning, organization & teamwork for myself? What is it that we do now that demonstrates planning, organization & teamwork for ourselves as a group?
  3. What is it that I do now that demonstrates planning, organization & teamwork for others? What is it that we do now that demonstrates planning, organization & teamwork for others?
  4. What must I become to demonstrate planning, organization & teamwork for myself and to others? What must we become to demonstrate planning, organization & teamwork for ourselves and for others?
  5. What stands in the way of planning, organization and teamwork? How can I/we plan and organize to transform or change (organization, project, individual) for ourselves or others?
  6. What values must be demonstrated related to planning, organization & teamwork for ourselves or others?
  7. Is there any other information that is needed in this moment related to planning, organization & teamwork?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses. There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

Step 4: Focus on Knowledge and the Scholar archetype.

The fourth session will focus on gathering the Knowledge you need to make changes.  In this session, we will learn how to integrate what we’ve learned so far and bring it together before taking the next step in moving from an internal focus of change to an external focus. The Scholar archetype is about knowledge, learning and integrating a great deal of information from many sources.

As in the first session, the session should be facilitated, the room should be quiet, people should not have distractions as described above.

For the 4th session, it helps if people are dressed casually, and feel relaxed and well rested.  There should be plenty of paper and other writing materials.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas.

When everyone seems to be complete with that question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 4 focusing on Knowledge & Information, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to Knowledge & Information? What is it that (organization, project, individual) most needs to know at this time?
  2. What is it that I need to know now for myself? What is it that we need to know now for ourselves as a group?
  3. What is it that I need to know now for others? What is it that we know now for others?
  4. What must I become to assimilate the knowledge & information I need for myself and to others? What must we become to assimilate the knowledge & information we need for ourselves and for others?
  5. What stands in the way of gaining the Knowledge and Information we need? What knowledge & information do we need now to transform or change (organization, project, individual) for ourselves or others?
  6. What values must be assimilated for ourselves or others?
  7. What else is needed in this moment in order to assimilate & integrate the information we have so far about (organization, project, individual)?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses.  There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

Step 5: Focus on Expression on a larger scale and the Sage archetype.

In the fifth session, we focus on taking the big step of starting to implement the changes you seek to make.  We practice visioning techniques directed toward the expansion of moving from thinking about and planning for a change to taking the change out into the outer world. The Sage archetype is about Communication, telling the truth and Having Fun.

As in the first session, the session should be facilitated, the room should be quiet during the visioning, people should not have distractions as described above. Ideally, there should be toys and other "fun" things available in the room.

For the 5th session, it helps if people are dressed casually, and feel relaxed and well rested.  Ideally, the attendees should bring toys and other "fun" things that can be shared with others in the room.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas. They might want to "play" with the "toys" that have been brought to help release the fun side of their personality before or during the visioning (within reason).

When everyone seems to be complete with that question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 5 focusing on Communication and Fun, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to Communication and Fun?
  2. What is it that I want to communicate about myself related to the visioning process for (organization, project, individual)? What is it that we want to communicate about ourselves as a group?
  3. What is it that I want to communicate to others about the changes I am planning? What is it that we want to communicate to others about the changes we are planning?
  4. What must I become to communicate authentically for myself and to others? What must we become to communicate authentically for ourselves and for others?
  5. What keeps us from seeing, hearing and telling the truth? What keeps us from having fun?
  6. What values, truths or other information must be communicated in order to achieve our Highest Vision?
  7. What other information is available in this moment related to communicating our new vision or new products/services for (organization, project, individual)?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses. There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

Step 6: Focus on Inspiration and the Priest/Priestess archetype.

In the sixth session, we will focus on how to keep yourself inspired and energized about the changes you desire in your life.  In this session, we want to uncover how to overcome opposition from others who seek to keep you where you are, internal resistance to the change you seek and how to see beyond to the greater vision. The Priest/Priestess archetype is about Inspiration and Compassion.

As in the first session, the session should be facilitated, the room should be quiet during the visioning, people should not have distractions as described above.  It helps if people are dressed casually, and feel relaxed and well rested. Ideally, the attendees could bring their own things that are inspiring to them or wear clothes that they find inspiring.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas.

When everyone seems to be complete with that question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 6 focusing on Inspiration and Compassion, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to Inspiration and Compassion?
  2. What is it that inspires me about (organization, project, individual)? What is it that inspires us about (organization, project, individual)?
  3. What is it that I can to do to inspire myself about the upcoming changes? What is it that we can to do to inspire myself about the upcoming changes? How can we stay focused on the larger picture of the changes we seek without getting bogged down in corporate politics?
  4. What must I become to inspire myself during the change process? What must we become to inspire others during the change process?
  5. What stands in the way of keeping me inspired? What stands in the way of keeping us inspired? How can we demonstrate compassion for the process of change related to (organization, project, individual) for ourselves or others?
  6. What values must we embrace to keep us inspired for the long term and beyond the coming changes?
  7. What other information is available in this moment related to inspiration & compassion for (organization, project, individual)?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses.  There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

Step 7: Focus on Mastery and the King/Queen archetype.

In the seventh session, we will focus on solidifying the change and staying committed to the changes you seek.  We will learn how to deeply embed all that we’ve learned so far into your habits and daily routine so that the change is long-lasting and permanent.  The King/Queen archetype is about Mastery and external visible Leadership.

As in the first session, the session should be facilitated, the room should be quiet during the visioning, people should not have distractions as described above.

For the 7th session, it helps if people are dressed casually, and feel relaxed and well rested. Ideally, attendees would bring examples of things they have completed that demonstrate mastery or personal accomplishment.

The facilitator will ask the questions one at a time.  After each question, the participants will take time to quietly reflect on their own answers to the question (usually with their eyes closed), then write their answers or draw their ideas.

When everyone seems to be complete with that question, the facilitator will go on to the next question.

For step 7 focusing on Mastery and Leadership, the questions might be:

  1. What is the Highest Vision for (organization, project, individual) related to Mastery and Leadership?
  2. What is it that demonstrates mastery and leadership to me about (organization, project, individual)? What is it that demonstrates mastery and leadership to us about (organization, project, individual)?
  3. What is it that I can to do to demonstrate mastery and leadership myself about the upcoming changes? What is it that we can to do to demonstrate mastery and leadership myself about the upcoming changes?
  4. What must I become to demonstrate mastery and leadership myself during the change process? What must we become to demonstrate mastery and leadership myself during the change process?
  5. What stands in the way of achieving our Highest Vision? How can we demonstrate mastery and leadership for the process of change related to (organization, project, individual) for ourselves or others?
  6. What values must we demonstrate about mastery and leadership for the long term and beyond the coming changes?
  7. What other information is available in this moment related to demonstrating mastery and leadership for (organization, project, individual)?

When everyone has answered all the questions, the facilitator should again ask each questions — one at a time — and each person shares their responses. There should be no judgment, arguments, debate, questioning or second-guessing about a person’s response — each person simply shares their responses in their own way.

The responses from everyone present should be collected and compiled by the facilitator (or another designated person).  There should be no plans created or actions taken on the responses until all 7 visioning steps have been completed.

Putting It Altogether

At the end of the 7-step process, you and your group will have all the information you need to start planning the changes you seek.  You will have a much clearer sense of how to prepare for the change, what changes are needed, what planning you need to do to make them happen, how to communicate the changes, how to inspire yourself and others along the way, and how to demonstrate leadership through the changes.

In many organizations, someone gets an idea for a change and then implements it before they have had a chance to fully work through all the processes needed to succeed.  Often, such ideas fail.  

With a fully completed visioning process as presented here, your chances of successful change are much more solid and you are better prepared for the potential pitfalls along the way.

The visioning process takes time, energy and commitment.  However, it is time well spent if your plan for changes rolls out smoothly and successfully.

Best wishes for creating your own vision!  The future is in your hands.

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books

  • The Leadership Challenge (3rd edition).  James Kouzes and Barry Posner  Jossey-Bass, 2003.  (paperback).  ISBN: 0787968331 
  • The Leadership Challenge Workbook.  James Kouzes and Barry Posner  Jossey-Bass, 2003.  (paperback).  ISBN: 0787968218
  • Crisp: Organizational Vision, Values, and Mission: Building the Organization of Tomorrow (A Fifty-Minute Series Book)  Crisp Learning; 1993.  ISBN: 1560522100 .  From the Crisp Publications Course Catalog:  http://www.courseilt.com/ilt_detail.cfm?series=crisp&product=fifty&isbn=1-56052-210-0 
  • Community Building: What Makes It Work: A Review of Factors Influencing Successful Community Building, Paul Mattessich and Barbara Monsey, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, St. Paul Minnesota, 1997. ISBN: 0940069121.  Identifies twenty-eight factors that influence the success of community building.  These factors are divided into three categories: characteristics of the community; characteristics of the community building process and characteristics of community building organizers.  Evaluation questions for each factor are provided.
  • If it ain't broke . . . BREAK IT! and other Unconventional Wisdom for a Changing Business World. Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler, Warner Books 1992  ISBN: 0446393592
  • Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Richard Bach, Dell Publishing, 1997 ISBN: 0440204887 
  • Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook. Ram Dass, Bantam Books; Reissue edition (July 1990) ISBN: 0553285726
  • Running From Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit. Richard Bach, William Delta; (December 1995) ISBN: 0385315287 

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter article:
   April 1998: Vision: Expanding Your Thinking
   August 2006: Leadership Vision

  Multi-Media Products

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

| Home Page | Top of Page |

| Barbara Taylor | Books | Clients | FAQ | Feedback | Interesting Links | Mailing List |
| Michael Anthony | Michael Teachings | Newsletter | Personality Game |
| Products | Services | Speakers | Spirituality | Training | Travel | Translations

| Contact Us | Search the site | Site Map |

The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

© Copyright 1980  -  2015,  Barbara Taylor               Copyright Notice and Student Research Requests                 Privacy Policy and Legal Notice