Exploring our vision

adapted from Patrick Lencioni's book, The Advantage

Objective: Engage in the work of creating a vision

Prerequisites: none

Materials: Board, chart, or screen to display questions

Time required: 1/2 day


  1. Display the first three of Lencioni's questions for your group:
    A. Why do we exist?
    B. How do we behave?
    C. What do we do?

    Let participants know that they can discuss these questions in light of their organization, their department, or their team. Remind them that the first step in creating a vision is exploration. So they don’t need to have firm, definitive answers to these questions yet; this is a first draft. But encourage them to try answering the questions for a few minutes. Divide into small groups if necessary.

  2. Stop the group(s) and ask them to reflect aloud on what made answering these questions difficult for them. Ask these questions to elicit more discussion. These questions can also be used as part of a journaling exercise.

    1. How do you incorporate your personal values, your own goals, and your personality into your answers?
    2. Are there conflicts or uncertainties in your initial (first draft) answers?
    3. How can you gather more data to better answer these questions?
    4. How can they illustrate their vision through stories, images, or words that evoke an image?
    5. How could you as a leader make this exercise easier for your followers as they try to apply your vision to their teams?

    Additional reading that can be assigned before or after this activity: