It’s a fresh and unique approach to what typically is a vanilla and uninspiring process.
In today’s post, I will describe the 4 steps to building your vision.
ONE: Do it on your own and outside of school.
You are paid to be a leader. Lead.
Vision starts with you. Many schools suffer from a collaborative approach with too many voices at the table. There is a time for collaboration in the vision creation process, but it’s not at the beginning.
I love this quote on vision:
“Write the vision down so those who read it, run!”
People want to know where they are going. It’s your job as leader to show them.
When you start the initial draft of your school vision, get out of school. I encourage you to not use any technology either.
Grab a journal, a pen, and get out of the normal routine. When I wrote my current vivid vision I bounced between long walks outside and time in a favorite coffee shop.
Breaking the routine of your day-to-day allows you to dream.
TWO: Bring the vision to your inner circle.
Now that you have outlined the vision, it’s time to present it to key leaders.
In a school this might be your leadership team, key parents, and student leaders. You might break this up into 3 different focus groups.
During this time you present the vision and then shut up. Listen. Take notes. Ask questions.
Keep reflecting back what you hear until people say, “That’s right.”
Now revisit the vision and revise as necessary using this feedback.
THREE: Invite the larger community.
Not everyone wants to have a voice in where the organization is going. Believe it or not, some people just want to be told where they are going. Thinking everyone is this way would be a mistake.
That’s why in this third step you hold an optional meeting. Invite anyone that wants to provide feedback a seat at the table.
Present the vision. Then listen and take notes again just like you did in the previous step.
Revise the vision with the new comments.
FOUR: Present the finished vision.
Gather your entire staff and present where you are going.
Now that you have clearly articulated where you are going over the next three years, refer back to different aspects of the vision regularly.
Do this when you gather in large groups and when you meet individually. Use the vision to hold people accountable, to inspire, and to celebrate movement toward accomplishing the vision.