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Seb Anthony

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vision Setting


I have been asked to run a vision setting session for our factory. I have not done anything like this before and was wondering if anyone has any hits, tips checklists etc. that would be useful.
Ian Habergham

4 Responses

  1. How confident are you?

    Before you put together the session, may I ask a rhetorical question: how confident are you at being able to pull this off, given that you have never done it before?

    Given the importance of vision, if this session falls short of expectations for any reason (not necessarily your shortcoming) the chance of the factory considering doing it again would be very slim and possibly result in a worse perception of the concept than if it had never been done.

    Having witnessed visioning undertaken internally and then in the same organisation by an external consultant (not me), the benefits far outweighed the cost (£450+VAT/half day).

    Best regards


  2. Try 5th Discipline
    Apart from echoing the comment about confidence (and if I may be a bit blunt – I am a Yorkshireman – the fact that you are asking here might suggest less than complete confidence), my main contribution is going to be to refer you to Peter Senge’s remarkable book The 5th Discipline.

    In there you will find a whole section on Building Shared Vision and some specific guidance on different approaches in different cultural settings (based on the Ohio stuff about Tell, Sell, Involve, Delegate).

    You do not say how big your factory is – dealing with 10 people is a very different matter to a factory employing 500.

    Anyway, if these thoughts prompt you to want to chat, do give me a ring.


  3. And the Fieldbook
    Would heartily agree with Geoff’s recommendation of the 5th discipline, look at the ‘Fieldbook’ of the first book for more exercise based stuff and Peter Senge’s later book ‘The Dance of Change’.


  4. Unearth the limiting beliefs before working on a new vision
    When running sessions of this type I think there are a number of elements that are important to include, prior to any vision generation:

    1) the attitudes and behaviours of the participants – I generally use some creativity exercises so encourage people to think differently/ laterally and radically; as well as supporting everyone’s input. Without this, then the vision is likely to be more of the same, and not very inspiring. Not only that but some great ideas will get rained on.

    2) the limiting beliefs that people have about work (in general) and their current working environment. Without this, the vision will not expand the factory’s capabilities as it will have to sit within these (generally unspoken) boundaries.

    3) whatever you do, the vision must be generated using as many people’s input as possible, otherwise it will never achieve an ownership large enough to effect change

    I wouldn’t expect that the group will come up with a definitive vision in a single session, these things generally need time to develop as people try new ways of working/ thinking out.

    Good luck


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