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A vision is not a destination

Last weekend, Jon and I visited the Osa and Martin Johnson Museum in Chanute, Kansas. They were explorers who used photography and early video equipment as a part of their experiences. They were not photographers and videographers who went exploring.

The difference? My observation is that too often organizations overlay a vision on what they are already doing. The vision is seen as defining the straight line from the present to a desire future. It assumes that managers can outline a strategy and action steps to reach the future. The vision is held up as a map for certainty and survival. The vision is the destination, the promised land.

For Osa and Martin Johnson, the vision was exploring – having adventures. As they encountered people and cultures, they wrote, photographed, and filmed. But above all they explored and interacted, often immersing themselves in cultures for years at a time. From the vision and intention to adventure, relationships and business opportunities emerged. From the intention to adventure, supporting methods and processes emerged. The vision was about a life-long intention, not the details of the next destination.

What is your vision, your life-long intention? What is the vision and intention of your organization?

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