What is a vision?

We had a guest keynote speaker at work today. He asked ‘what is vision?’

If, like me, you also suffer from presentation fatiguetitus, this is when you start to feel your energy drain to your feet. I slump a little, fold my arms and brace myself for the obligatory I’d like you to ‘discuss this in groups’.

Like the well trained pew fodder we are, the audience dutifully got on with the discussion. And then, right on cue, the speaker, yes the one who just asked us to have a discussion, but now completely ignoring everything said in groups, begins to answer his own question… “it’s an idealised image of a desired future state. It’s the purpose that motivates you to keep going. It’s something that inspires passion. It’s something I have. It’s something you need”.

As the speaker enthusiastically persevered with his attempt to make the audience accept the need to have a vision, I tune out… On the contrary, I thought, ‘vision’ could simply mean the ability to see something in the moment. To discern how underlying assumptions shape reality. To notice how power is used in the moment. To see how certain voices are privileged and others ignored in the moment. More importantly, to discern if what is being made in conversation is life-giving and honouring to all, and if not, to invite self and others to co-create a more grace-full world.

Author: gohbyname

A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, I am a systemic Personnel practitioner. I've worked in the private (British Airways), public (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore), and most recently in the third sector (International charity). My current work involves delivering HR and OD at a strategic level. Operationally, I have a working knowledge of all aspects of HR & OD, including employee engagement, talent and diversity retention, employment and immigration law, TUPE, learning & development and recruitment both in a UK and international setting.

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