As change makers, we are working towards creating a better world. We work from the belief that to create the change we want to see, we need to develop a broad movement of people that are working towards a shared goal or set of goals. But what is the better world we are trying to create? What needs to change? How does it need to change? How are we going to accomplish that change? What will the outcome look like?
Articulating that shared vision to inspire others to participate in a broad based movement of people is imperative to long term, sustainable achievable change. At the heart of ‘Inspire a shared vision’, we are storytellers who tell of the future possibilities to others as an invitation to join together to pursue that better world.The story of change incorporates the collective hopes, dreams and values of those who are involved. Inspiring a shared vision is a practice of leadership that projects a clear image of possibilities and generates energy to collectively take action to create the future possibilities.
Here are five components of an inspiring vision
- An inspiring vision shares an IDEAL. An ideal is a high standard to aspire to, an ennobling purpose and greater good we are seeking. Listen to Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech, which looks at the “dream” from a multitude of angles, all of which shed light on the one ideal.
- An inspiring vision incorporates a COLLECTIVE IDENTITY. It binds us together around a common purpose and articulates the values of our community; it can also distinguish our community from another, thus reducing uncertainty about what to expect from those with whom we interact.
- An inspiring vision uses IMAGE to make concepts tangible through descriptive language. Word pictures, stories and symbols help make the vision more memorable and compelling.
- An inspiring vision is FUTURE-ORIENTED, looking toward a destination. Visions describe an exciting possibility for the future and stretch our minds out into the future and asks us to dream.
- An inspiring vision is built around a COMMON GOOD, a way people can come together. Visions are about developing a shared sense of destiny. Followers must be able to see themselves and their interests served in the vision; they must see how they are a part of the vision in order to enlist others.
Social change leaders make sure that everyone can see the vision of change. It is not just the movement’s leaders that can see the vision, it’s a shared vision. When visions are shared, they attract more people, the group is more motivated, and it helps the collective withstand setbacks and challenges. A clear and shared vision is a beacon of hope and an inspiration to all, lighting the way for a better future.