What’s the big idea?
The vision canvas is a structured conversation, where a team is facilitated in sharing their views with each other, by placing them onto the canvas. The experience is facilitated, with the facilitator time-boxing the amount of time spent in each section of the canvas. Each box is designed to build on the insights of its predecessor, and thereby linking a plan of actions back to the realisation of a vision.
- Project kick-off / ‘lift-off’ events
- Project reset / recovery events
Alignment (or overcoming fragmentation)
In “How Google Works”, the authors speak about a new breed of multifaceted employee they term ‘smart creatives’. Rallying smart creatives around a project and towards a shared outcome can be as tricky as herding cats. In fact, this can be a similar experience in any established organisation when some form of change is introduced. The effect is called fragmentation and is illustrated by this Prime.
The vision canvas creates alignment (reestablishing cohesion) by allowing stakeholders and team members the opportunity to air their differences in a structured dialogue, and by careful facilitation, reach compromises.
Context, scope, and evaluation
Another challenge that can face teams implementing change is that there is no clear solution, and they lack any framework to evaluate solution options. This is illustrated by the five core agreements in the core Prime.
The vision canvas overcomes these challenges in a two-fold way:
- Firstly, the canvas has a top-down approach, which surfaces key insights and relationships before any solutions are discussed
- Secondly, this approach creates a solution-agnostic hierarchy of values, against which solutions or actions can be tested. For example:
- Does this action move us towards, or away from the vision?
- Is solution (a) more aligned with our values than solution (b)?