This is a guest post by creative coach Deborah Henry – Pollard of Catching Fireworks, who recently ran a practical visioning webinar for The Design Trust.
‘Recently I was delighted to deliver the webinar for The Design Trust Business Club (sorry, recording only accessible for Design Club members!) about the importance of visioning on your future career.
This webinar had been planned for a while but, as if by magic, just a few minutes before I started my presentation, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won the first Olympic Gold medal for TeamGB in London 2012.
I don’t know what Glover and Stanning’s vision was or how they articulated it, but I bet they had one and it was backed up with a pretty intense action plan. But something I wanted to highlight is that they didn’t just turn up to Eton Dorney on Wednesday morning, find a boat and think, “that might be a laugh”. It took time, determination and persistence to get that gold.
I often find that one of the major inhibitors for people when working on their vision is that they can’t see the possibility of achieving it because they are looking at too short a time frame. They are only seeing it from the viewpoint of where they are now, what they are capable of now, who they know now. They are seeing the boat for the first time thinking they have to win the medal in the afternoon. Looking at it like that, of course many a vision will seem impossible. However, once you put a longer timeline on your vision, you can start building in the steps you need and suddenly things seem more possible.
When I work with clients, we often work on long term projects. These can tie in with impending anniversaries or events such as significant birthdays, length of time at a particular job or children leaving home. As we start building in the next steps and milestones, people begin to embrace the challenge.
This can mean learning more, asking for support, widening networks, but it is a process rather than a step change. It is about walking up the hill rather than trying to jump to the summit from a standing start.
So how useful is a vision?
As a teenager, actor, comedian and writer Robert Webb wrote in his diary about his idea of studying at Cambridge, joining the Footlights, going to the Edinburgh Festival, writing for Channel 4, Radio 4, BBC2, writing novels, going to Hollywood. He has since starred in programmes across the main television channels, winning a BAFTA for The Mitchell and Webb Look. On Radio 4 he has won a Sony award for The Mitchell and Webb Sound. He has made films, acted on stage and written extensively.
At the same time as Webb was planning his media career, another teenager decided she wanted to be as famous as Persil Automatic, a brand everyone had heard of. Today, there can be very few people who haven’t heard of Victoria Beckham.
Helen Glover only started rowing 4 years ago. What will you have done in 4 years time?’
Did you like this post? Deborah has written a free e-book about business planning that takes the metaphor of a journey, which you might like.
You can also read these Design Trust blog posts: What’s your vision? Get clarity through these 7 big questions, and The Design Trust favourite books on business planning.