When you begin the process of strategic planning, visioning
comes first. When visioning the change, ask yourself, "What
is our preferred future?" and be sure to:
- Draw on the beliefs, mission, and environment of the
- Describe what you want to see in the future.
- Be specific to each organization.
- Be positive and inspiring.
- Do not assume that the system will have the same
framework as it does today.
- Be open to dramatic modifications to current
organization, methodology, teaching techniques,
Key Components for Your Vision
Incorporate Your Beliefs
Your vision must be encompassed by your beliefs.
- Your beliefs must meet your organizational goals as well
as community goals.
- Your beliefs are a statement of your values.
- Your beliefs are a public/visible declaration of your
- Your beliefs must be precise and practical.
- Your beliefs will guide the actions of all involved.
- Your beliefs reflect the knowledge, philosophy, and
actions of all.
- Your beliefs are a key component of strategic planning.
Create a Mission Statement
Once you have clarified your beliefs, build on them to define
your mission statement which is a statement of purpose and
- Your mission statement draws on your belief statements.
- Your mission statement must be future oriented and
portray your organization as it will be, as if it already
- Your mission statement must focus on one common purpose.
- Your mission statement must be specific to the
organization, not generic.
- Your mission statement must be a short statement, not
more than one or two sentences.
Here is an example mission statement: "By providing
quality education, we empower individuals to become caring,
competent, responsible citizens who value education as a lifelong
Benefits of Visioning
The process and outcomes of visioning may seem vague and
superfluous. The long-term benefits are substantial, however.
- Breaks you out of boundary thinking.
- Provides continuity and avoids the stutter effect of
planning fits and starts.
- Identifies direction and purpose.
- Alerts stakeholders to needed change.
- Promotes interest and commitment.
- Promotes laser-like focus.
- Encourages openness to unique and creative solutions.
- Encourages and builds confidence.
- Builds loyalty through involvement (ownership).
- Results in efficiency and productivity.
As you engage in the visioning process, be alert to the
following vision killers:
- Fear of ridicule
- Stereotypes of people, conditions, roles and governing
- Complacency of some stakeholders
- Fatigued leaders
- Short-term thinking
Exercise in Creating a Vision
Take the time to assimilate this information, use the
following example to exercise your planning techniques:
|It is five years from
todays date and you have, marvelously enough,
created your most desirable district. Now it is your job,
as a team, to describe it - as if you were able to see
it, realistically around you.
Respond to the following questions:
- How has the job market changed?
- What have we done to prepare our students for success in
- What do we as board members spend most of our time doing?
- How are our meetings structured?