Identity

2010
08.04

Vision (via dictionary.com)
1. The act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.
2. The act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be.

To see. To anticipate what will or may be. I need vision to drive. With vision, I can avoid other vehicles, pedestrians, and potholes. I can stop at red lights or hit the gas pedal when it turns yellow. In fact, outside of some cool modern technology, it would be almost impossible to drive without it.

Vision, when applied to corporate direction or mission is not much different. We think of vision as what we want to happen. For example, New Hip Community Church is contemplating vision. As a team they begin to process new ideas they each learned at conferences and networking with like-minded people. They begin to dream and dream big. They envision a church triple their current size with it’s own private jet for mission trips to Azerbaijan. They begin to set goals based off of these ideas and place milestones on the shared google calendar. I’m all for dreaming big, but this is not really vision.

Vision, remember, is “the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be”. Vision is not the ability to create the future, but the ability to simply see it or get a very close picture of it. If you don’t like what you see then take action, but you need an accurate picture of yourself to do so. I guess my real purpose for this post is to help those that stress over trying to “produce” vision instead of just discovering it.

Enter Identity. I have a pretty good idea that when I get to my parents house in Mobile, AL on Thursday it will take less than an hour to hear (or say), “Anyone seen the dominoes”. It will be one of the few times a year that all of my brothers will be in the same place… and that means, moon, golf, disc golf, and hopefully Kamikaze in the pool. We’ve been doing this far too long to be wrong on this one. That is because I know my family. I could even attempt at how long it will take for the first argument to start, but “if you don’t like what you see then take action”. And I fully intend to do a little better at that one.

People try to cast vision without discovering identity first and it does not work. Identity is foundational to vision and mission. Identity is composed of capability, personality, and character. Capability is the talent level or potential – what one can do. Personality tells us how and if it will be carried out. Character dials in the moral compass. Determining these three things is like putting a quarter in a viewfinder at Lookout Mountain.

Once you have a clear picture of Identity, then you can begin the discussion of Vision. Once you begin to see the future, you can start setting goals.

FINDING IDENTITY
Questions to jump start your team conversation:
Who are we?
What do you care about (personally)?
Does our organization/community have a personality?
How does it feel to be a part of this organization/community?
What drives our decision making? Bottom line, member benefits, difference making, etc.
What other organization/community do you dream about being a part of?

Don’t focus on getting the questions answered. Focus on letting conversation happen.

Tags: ,

Your Reply