Permission to Dream

A few years ago, I started tinkering with a new toolkit, which I’m calling the Rubber Band Visioning Toolkit. I created it for a bunch of reasons.

First, I want to see consultants design and facilitate better visioning sessions. I often see visioning designed as a one-off. This is not only an ineffective way to do visioning (as I articulated in my blog post, “Rubber Bands and the Art of Visioning”), it can even cause harm by opening loops that won’t get closed. I also noticed that many consultants who facilitate these sessions don’t actually do their own visioning, not even in one-off form. My hypothesis was that, if consultants had the opportunity to do their own visioning, it would have a slew of benefits, including helping them get better at designing visioning for others.

Second, I want people to have widespread access to visioning. It’s a crazy thing to say, because visioning is simply about stretching your imagination, it’s about striving for something you really want. You don’t need any special tools or guides to do it. You definitely don’t need to hire a consultant for it. And yet, we rarely give ourselves permission to do this, much less the space and the time. That’s a huge loss. I think we all would be so much better off if we all had a clearer idea of what we wanted in the world.

As is always the case with my toolkits, I’ve been piloting it with a bunch of different folks, tweaking and evolving it along the way. I have another set of changes I want to make to it before publicly releasing it hopefully early next year, and I’m planning on making it part of an official offering as well. (As with all of my toolkits, it will be public domain.) While I figure all this stuff out, I’ve continued to pilot it with friends and colleagues. (If you’re interested in giving it a go, ping me.)

I love piloting all of my toolkits. I love designing and tweaking, and I love the excuse to engage with others with this stuff. But I especially love piloting the visioning toolkit. It is so stupidly simple, and yet the impact it has on folks is profound. It’s also incredibly intimate to silence your self-censors, if only for a moment, and then to share what you really want. How often do we really do that with even our closest friends and family?

I kicked off a new session earlier today with two new folks and an old friend and colleague, who had gone through the process once before earlier this year. It was 90 minutes at the end of a packed day, but it just re-energized me and made me very happy. I am so grateful to all of the people willing to give it a spin. I can’t wait to share it with more people, and I hope others will use the toolkit to facilitate sessions with people they care about.