Visions on walls are not sufficient. Visions need to appear on agendas. When you celebrate people in your organization, celebrate them for advancing the vision.
Take this vision of our partners at National University for example:
Imagine a Monday meeting celebrating a team member who was integral in preparing a report for the board of trustees. A simple exercise might be to send them pre-work on some funding visions from peers and then begin the meeting discussing how their vision at National stacks up or needs to be modified. It is so easy to offer a cup of coffee, a badge, and/or a public proclamation over MS Teams or Slack on a job well done, helping the State of California understand what world-class educator preparation looks like from the College of Education in the work the team does on a daily basis. Next, you might consider placing the vision on digital and/or print agendas when you move into the week to do the work ahead. For instance, the advancement team is supposed to meet on Tuesday to discuss visions for fundraising around the globe. This is a perfect time to engage your team in brainstorming around visions that inspire them, funding frameworks that have helped move universities forward with resources, and how they might integrate that research back into their work. A simple exercise might be to send them pre-work on some funding visions around the globe and then begin the meeting discussing how their vision at National stacks up or needs to be modified. Next, one might imagine a summary of that meeting being shared with the National vision headline or a short statement on how well-positioned we are around our vision.
In John Hattie’s landmark work, Visible Learning, he talks about how we know students are learning. For adults, it is a very similar concept. Consider inviting yourself into a meeting, lurking on a Slack channel, or having a 1:1 conversation with a staff member. Ask them to bring work products. Have them share early drafts, and encourage them to tell the stories of awesome health care practice for example that matches the vision. Recently, our team was at an office where visual case studies were displayed. Television monitors had short videos that captured the vision and the road ahead for the organization. Imagine what your physical and digital spaces could look like in setting the vision to be a living experience versus a poster on the wall.
One of the ways in a digital world we can be intentional about vision is to have it on our signature line in an email. We can have it as a part of our background on Zoom. These are subtle ways to rally the team as to what we are shooting for with National University or any organization. Daily around the world, people spend large amounts of time on Slack or MS Teams. Why not have a daily water cooler moment around the vision? Could we think together to end each week with a Vision Moment to Matter on a short Loom that can remind all team members why we are in this work.
Our team at Setser Group frequently uses Looms to communicate across time zones and the challenges of time in general.
Bonus: Vision for Leading Learners for Project Success