Focus creative solutions on an aligned vision
- What is a vision?
- What is a Vision used for?
- How to write a vision
- Format & content
- Activity: Vision Setting (30 mins)
- Introduce the activity
- Step 1: Write multiple ideas
- Step 2: Voting
- Step 3: Final decision
- Additional Resources
What is this for? This guide will help you understand what a vision is and how you can collaboratively define one with a team. Mindset and core principles Having a clear vision is the foundation upon which many other design thinking activities are based. Things like coming up with ideas and making decisions are all more effective when there is a clear vision to guide the direction.
What is a vision?
A Vision is about DIRECTION The purpose of a Vision is to act as a "north star" for a team. So everyone can move in an aligned direction.
- A Vision does not need to be achievable, it can be better if it feels a little out of reach.
- The most important thing is that the direction is clear.
MBM defines a Vision as: "Where and how our business can best create long-term value (Mutually Beneficial with customers/constituents" An effective vision provides a sense of purpose on how the organization creates value and how individuals can contribute. It serves as a guide for decision-making and effective action. It will attract commitment by defining the challenge and establishing what "good" looks like.
What is a Vision used for?
After a vision has been set by the group it can help the team to do many other activities while ensuring that all outcomes contribute to a shared direction, e.g. :
- Narrowing down which problems are worth solving
- Come up with potential solution ideas
- Deciding which ideas to pursue (which lead toward the shared direction)
- Prevent disagreements and competing ideas
How to write a vision
- Be aspirational (not necessarily achievable)
- Think far into the future (e.g. 1-5 years)
- Have a clear direction (not be ambiguous)
Format & content
A vision should include:
- A time frame
- A specific aspirational achievement
- A metric (optional)
(e.g. "In 2 years...", or "By 2025...")
(e.g. "...faster than competitor x", "...50% more efficient")
Activity: Vision Setting (30 mins)
Introduce the activity
- Explain that this vision will help the team move in the same direction with future activities
- Introduce "How to write a Vision" (👆 above)
Step 1: Write multiple ideas
- Set a timer for 5 minutes
- Each person individually writes 1 (or a few) versions of a Vision using the format described
- ...and sticks them anonymously on a board
Step 2: Voting
- Set a 5 minute timer
- Everyone gets one vote each to choose the Vision they think is:
- The most ambitious...
- ...and clearest statement that will be easy for the team to follow
- They are allowed to vote on their own stickies
- You can give people more than one vote if you feel there are too many stickies on the board
Step 3: Final decision
- One person in the group should play the role of the Decider (read )Using a Decider
- This should be the person who has real accountability for the direction of the team/project e.g. Project director, team leader, ...
- Set a 10 minute timer. In any order the Decider should:
- Use half the time to consult the team (if they want to), e.g.: Ask them questions, explain their thoughts and get feedback, ...
- Use half the time to think on their own
- Then they should place a final "Decider vote" on the Vision they think is best to guide the team
- Mural - digital collaboration board