Vision and Mission Work

As part of the 2015 Cooperative Design Lab with The Resilience Hub, Cooperative Development Institute, and Cooperative Fermentation, we led a workshop on Vision and Mission work for cooperative enterprise tonight. This core values stuff is at the heart of my consulting practice so it was fun to do with cooperatives. I had an opportunity to review some of the organizational development (OD) literature prior to the mini workshop and I noticed an interesting range of styles and assumptions about leadership in the context of visioning. This post will share some. At the end, I will share my prezi from the workshop.

In Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, Bryan Smith has a chapter titled "Building a Shared Vision". In it, he explains the developmental stages of an organization facing change and presents the stages in a frame of levels of participation. Within his range of participatory engagement, he suggests that we be objective about where an organization is at, then work up from there toward greater participation. One of the things I loved about this review was seeing that cooperatives are already at the highest developmental stage! According to Smith and Senge, that stage is labeled "co-creating".

Starhawk has a different style than the authors in the Fieldbook in general. She is also more grounded in permaculture. In her book Empowerment Manual, she offers more cultural variability than the "business-as-usual" approach of mainstream organizational development. Sengi in comparison is also holistic, however Starhawk's style invites a broader audience than than multinational corporations. Empowerment Manual reflects on a different range of experiences in groups. 

Personally, I enjoy her permaculture influence on the OD topics. She even pulled in Alan Savory's idea of "Holistigoals"! Savory being a world class livestock management expert, and having a passion for regenerative land-use systems, has a holistic management model that includes three parts of a goal.  These are the following: a.) The quality of life that you want, b.) future resource base, and c.) what you need to produce. You can read about that here and see something about it in my prezi posted below. This is worth looking into for cooperatives and for so many other structures as well.

For the 2015 Co-op Design Lab Vision and Mission workshop, I also reviewed both Looby Macnamara's book People and Permaculture and Peter Block's work Community: The Structure of Belonging for what they had to say about vision and mission process. All worth your time if you are interested in facilitating a great process for vision and mission. There are other resources on the shelf as well but I wanted to share a few here. 

For the workshop, posted below, I shared the tremendously accessible Vision and Mission Worksheet resource from the Creative Commons (cc) made available by Craig Von Korlaar for participants. Feel free to share with your organization if you are considering the need for a visioning workshop as a way to establish common understanding in your group.