Create your winning team vision: a step-by-step guide
Read time: 3.5 minutes
Today I want to walk through an often overlooked way to achieve broad consensus on a future vision.
A future vision is simply a new and improved state after a time of progress.
That might be:
Whatever the change, everyone must agree on the final destination; otherwise, how will you know how to get there or identify when you have arrived?
Unfortunately, most teams don’t know how to create a vision, only to find out that aligning opinions at the start of a journey saves a ton of disagreement later.
But you can avoid that.
To build a shared team vision of the future that everyone agrees, gets behind, and delivers.
Step 1 - Agree Key Stakeholders
Ask your team to call out who their key stakeholders are. Internal and external.
Examples could be:
- Senior management
When you have a long list, invite them to agree on the 3-4 most important stakeholders.
Give each stakeholder their own Think, Feel, Say, Do chart.
Divide the team equally across the charts.
Step 2 - Brainstorm Think, Feel, Say, Do
You are about to ask them a question — once asked, the first 10 minutes will be a silent brainstorm (so they don’t influence each others thoughts).
They should write one comment per Post-it and place it on the chart.
Here’s the question - “What will your stakeholder be Thinking, Feeling, Saying and Doing differently 12 months from now?”
After the brainstorming has slowed, rotate the groups so each stands before a new stakeholder.
Invite them to add new Post-its as ideas and thoughts come up.
Repeat the rotation until each group has worked on every stakeholder.
After the brainstorming phase, allow them to challenge each other’s comments. Especially for doability within the timeframe chosen.
This is the consensus-building phase, and allowing enough time for agreement to emerge is important.
Step 3 - Group ideas into themes
Ask them to group comments into themes and name them with a marker pen.
Once the ideas are grouped into themes, ask the team to prioritize these based on their perceived impact and feasibility.
This will help in focusing on the most important elements of the vision.
I like using “Must Have” and “Nice To Have” as a simple prioritization scale.
Step 4 - Create your Team Vision Statement
Split the whole group into smaller groups of 3.
Invite each smaller group to create a vision statement, bringing in as much of the content from the Think, Feel, Say, Do charts as possible.
Allow each smaller group to present their vision statement. Make a competition of it if you like and award prizes to the best, most amusing, and thoughtful.
As a team, discuss, refine and agree on a final vision statement that encapsulates the shared goals and aspirations of the team and their key stakeholders.
The magic behind this process is your stakeholders are front and centre of the vision.
This is their vision for the team. Not the team’s vision for themselves. It’s a subtle but important distinction.
Team members often have subtle differences in opinion from one person to the next about where they’re trying to head and how they will get there.
This workshop fixes that by forcing those discussions to happen early. While opinions are still flexible and views aren’t so entrenched.
It’s important to involve your team in creating their vision. Their early input will prevent operational bottlenecks and ensure accountability towards goals.
It’s much harder to rebel against a vision if they were the ones who created it in the first place.
Remember, creating a vision isn't just a one-off thing. It's a journey that needs regular check-ins and updates.
Keep tabs on how your team is doing and make sure your vision still makes sense and is within reach.
And don't forget feedback! Your team and other folks involved might have thoughts to add or concerns you should know about.
That’s all for today.
See you next week.
P.S. This is one of 60+ workshop activities in the WorkshopBank Library. If you’re interested in learning more (and joining 11,000+ people who already have access), you can do that here.
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