1. Future Possibilities

6 Sep

Several years ago, I had the good fortune to work with a skilled facilitator at a strategic planning retreat for a local non-profit. I was her Vanna White, so I was able to sit back and observe.

The first thing agenda item with this group was a visioning exercise. And it was great fun.

Future Possibilities - Depositphotos_63674553_s-2015My colleague divided the participants into groups and asked them to design and draw a magazine cover – complete with a cover story, a picture and a teaser about the stories inside.

There were no rules or restrictions – other than envisioning a future headline for the organization.  The results were fun, creative and enlightening – and well worth the hour that this exercise took.


Because the magazine covers challenged the status quo. They reached beyond the problems that the group was there to diagnose and understand.

Their covers incorporated the thinking of a variety of people involved in the organization – board members, volunteers and staff, at all levels. So, many perspectives were blended together.

This exercise lay the foundation for being open-minded at the retreat. The group was able to initiate a quest for improvements through the development of a strategic plan. They acquired new knowledge by asking questions and empowering themselves to move beyond problem analysis to identifying a new path.

They found out that a vision is never an answer … but always a question.

What would the future look like if  …

we were not so busy doing more of the same??

What are the future possibilities?


P.S. This post is the first in a series. For more information, please see “Why Do I Write this Blog” about “The Art of Leading Collectively.”

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