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Visioning for Goal Setting

Visioning for Goal Setting

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Published by Bill Taylor

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Published by: Bill Taylor on Feb 23, 2010
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09/21/2010

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KASLWESTON COUNTY EXTENSION REPORTBILL TAYLOR3/2/10
USING “VISIONING” TO DEVELOP STRATEGIC GOALSOften goals developed during a strategic planning session tend to be toonarrow and focus on day-to-day operations. Day-to-day operational plans arefine for the final stage of planning, but the process needs to start at thestrategic level, that dealing with the broad vision of the organization. Thekey to getting participants to start at this broad level is to use a visioningprocess, according to Michael Wilkinson, Managing Director of LeadershipStrategies.Goals are broad, long-term aims that define accomplishments of the mission.Objectives are specific, quantifiable, realistic targets that measure theaccomplishment of a goal over a specified period. To help participants determine their goals, utilize a visualization exercise. The exercise should guide the participants through a scenario ten or moreyears into the future. The scenario should paint a picture in which theorganization is achieving tremendous success. The key is help theparticipants visualize the various areas of success (e.g., customers, products,image, etc.) without the facilitator specifically citing what the success was.
 
Ask participants to close their eyes and to imagine that they are at an awardceremony ten years in the future and their organization has just beenselected as the outstanding organization of the year. Tell the participants toimagine what the award is for – what specific award would their organizationreceive for outstanding performance? A customer stands to testify to theexemplary performance of the organization – what is it they have to say?What do they compliment the organization for? As you leave the ceremony,you overhear employees talking about how good it is to work for theorganization. What do they have to say?Now ask your participants to jot down their thoughts: What award did theyvisualize receiving? Why? What did the presenter have to say about theorganization? What testimonies were received from supporting customers?When the president or director of the organization accepted the award, whatdid they have to say about the goals of the group and how they wereachieved? And lastly, why did employees say they enjoyed working for theorganization?In summary, it is important to participants in the visualization process todescribe several different views:
Customers –visualize and hear what customers are saying about theorganization.
 
Employees –visualize and hear what employees are saying about theorganization.
Competitors/Other Stakeholders – visualize and hear what competitorsand other stakeholders are saying about the organization.
Actions – visualize what actions were taken to achieve success.
Results – visualize the results that were achieved. The order you address these things can vary, based on the visualizationscene you use.After the visualization exercise, have each individual participant write outwhat they saw and heard. Then, use breakout teams to create on post-its aconsolidated set of vision elements that members saw. Have the breakoutteams review their lists of elements and group them into logical categories. These categories now represent the broad areas in which success isnecessary for the organization. These areas become the strategic goals of the organization. This exercise allows each group to formulate the goals thatthey visualize as meaning success to them.After definition of the broad goals, the group can move on to tacticalplanning. Tactical objectives encompass what specific actions will help thegroup move toward accomplishing their broad strategic goals. Tacticalplanning identifies which resources will be brought to bear, where and when

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