Defining the Vision
Defining the vision is a technique we use to help participants articulate their visions of an ideal future in a particular situation. By painting a picture in their minds, they have an opportunity to "see" the details of what they want.
This tool can be used in many ways. Let's say, for example, that you are facilitating a discussion about building a new middle school. You have asked students, parents, community members, and staff to come to a session to define their vision of the new school. After reviewing the rules for brainstorming, explain that you will guide everyone in picturing their ideal school.
Being by inviting participants to close their eyes and imagine that it is now five years from today and the new middle school has been built just the way they wanted it. Create a scene for the group by suggesting that they imagine climbing into a hot air balloon and floating up above the site of the school. Then suggest that they have the power to see through walls and hear the conversations going on in the new school. Ask people what they see, hear, and feel
If it is important to consider specific aspects of the future building, ask participants to look for those. For example:
After a minute or two of visualization, give participants time to make notes about what they have seen. Then arrange participants into small groups. Give the groups 5-10 minutes to list on flipchart sheets all the things they saw, heard or felt.
For more information about "defining the vision" and other brainstorming techniques, order your copy of Great Meetings! Great Results today.
NEXT WEEK IN GREAT MEETINGS: How to narrow down that list of ideas you have collected.