Vision setting

We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

—J.K. Rowling

Your Vision communicates how things would look if the Problem or Opportunity were perfectly addressed. This might be:

  • Dreams for the community or initiative (e.g. our vision is a safe neighbourhood where children and adults can work, rest and play without fear of harm).
  • What success would look like (e.g. our region’s aims is to be the most digitally connected region in Australia).

There are numerous strategic planning and Visioning processes. Typically they should have the following features:

  • Good data on what the current situation is in the region (or business). The GETTING READY process will have provided your action team with good data.
  • A competent leader or facilitator to guide the discussion so that the Vision can be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
  • A reality check process which allows time for reflection by the vision-setting team and ideally comments from the wider community.

A powerful process for community wide visioning is called Future Search. “A future search,” write Marvin Weisbord and future search co-developer Sandra Janoff, “is a large group planning meeting that brings the ‘whole system’ into the room to take ownership of their past, present, and future, confirm their mutual values, and commit to action plans grounded in reality.” It involves up to 30-80 diverse stakeholders, a cross-section of people concerned with the activities of the organization or community undertaking the search. They use the shared wisdom and experience of the participants to explore the trends — including global forces — at work in their lives. Together they create a detailed “mind map” of these trends on a giant sheet of paper. They discuss concerns, prioritize the trends they’ve identified and explore common ways of viewing the “mess” they’ve charted together. They tell each other what they’re proud of and what they’re sorry about.

Then they gather in subgroups to imagine themselves 5, 10 and 20 years in the future. They generate concrete images and examples of what’s going on in their chosen future, and the barriers they imagine they’ve had to overcome to get there. They are given the tools to role play their presentation to enhance the creativity in this way of visioning.

Participants develop lists of common futures (what they agree they want), potential projects (how to get there) and unresolved differences. After some reflection and second thoughts, each participant figures out what they personally want to work on. They get together with others of similar passion to plan action.


  1. Review the CLIP One Page Plan as developed to date with particular reference to the Problem / Opportunity and the Key Issues.
  2. Invite Action Team members to write up their version of a brief Vision. There is no need to have measures or specific goals here. These will be decided shortly.
  3. Review the multiple Vision statements and discuss a version that is agreeable to the group.
  4. Write this into the CLIP One Page Plan.

Dive Deeper
Community Vision and Mission Statements https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/strategic-planning/vision-mission-statements/main
Future Search https://futuresearch.net/