Visioning for Ourselves & Our Community

Where do you hope to be in 10 years? What growth do you wish to see in your business in 5 years? What is your goal of a certain project you are working on for the next month?

You may have an idea in your head of what you want the future to look like, whether it’s for your personal life, career, or a smaller project or situation, and writing a vision can help make that happen.

On November 6, about 50 people came together at Wanango Country Club for a Zingtrain Workshop. Based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Zingtrain is part of a community of businesses that started as the Zingerman’s Delicatessen and has grown to add a coffee shop, bakery, candy shop, restaurant, and much more.

After spending years visioning for themselves and practicing great customer service, Zingerman’s added Zingtrain to their group of businesses with the goal to not only provide training to their own employees, but also to share what they’ve learned with outside organizations and individuals.

We brought Zingtrain to Venango County for a full day—half about “Creating a Vision of Greatness” and the other half on “The Art of Giving Great Service.”

Zingerman’s defines a vision as: “A picture of what success looks like in a particular point in time.” Visioning is not about how you get there, it’s about what it looks like when you get there.

Anyone can write a vision, and it can be about anything. To be effective, they recommend it is inspiring, strategically sound, documented, and communicated. Visions are typically written in present tense. Rather than saying: “In 10 years I hope to have five employees,” the vision would say: “It is 2029 and I have five employees.”

After learning more about the ins and outs of visioning, attendees at our workshop did “hot pen,” meaning they picked a topic and a time frame, than wrote their first drafts of a vision for 15 minutes—writing from their heart, not their heads, and not lifting the pen until time was up.

Groups were then formed, and people shared their visions with a few others and gave constructive feedback. Observers shared what they found exciting, where they could hear the presenter’s passion, and if they thought anything was missing.

Visioning can be scary and uncomfortable, but exciting and inspiring. Most of us have ideas of what we hope our future will look like, but it feels completely different when you get it down on paper and begin sharing it with others.

At its best, visioning begins on an individual level. When you have a sense of your destination, you will have a better idea of how to get there.

As a community, visioning can combine skills, talents, and wisdom of many. Think of the impact we could make if individuals were creating their own visions, then coming together to create and work towards a community vision, too.

We encourage you to dive deeper into visioning and check out the many resources on the Zingtrain website, including this article: Why and How Visioning Works.

Stay tuned for another article about Zingtrain’s approach to customer service.