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Create the Vision and develop a desired future state

Phase 2


Task 2: Create the Vision and develop a desired future state

Unlike profit making companies that easily measure success in terms of profit, nonprofit organisations need to measure their successes in terms of positive changes in people’s lives. This is very difficult to do since it’s almost impossible to measure with certainty the amount of positive change that is the result of a single organisation, program, or service provider. Still, we must try.


Creative Initiatives encourages nonprofit organisations to develop externally focused visions that can be measured in concrete terms but that are still a stretch in terms of their attainability under the organisation’s current paradigms. In this sense, a good vision is one that answers the impossibility question,

「What is impossible to do today, but if it could be done would fundamentally change your organization for the good?」

Joel Barker

Defining an organisation’s current state involves clearly defining both ends of this equation. In this sense, inertia represents the current situation including ways of thinking and operational paradigms that may be impacting the organisation’s efficacy. Dissatisfaction represents all of the issues and problems that must be identified before they can be addressed or solved.

During the workshop preparation phase, the facilitator used the information s/he collected to construct a series of PowerPoint slides that in his or her opinion describe the organisation’s current state and identify the issues and problems that seem to be keeping people awake at night. At the workshop, s/he uses the slides to stimulate a guided discussion that leads the group to consensus about the current situation, issues, and problems.

No final decisions need to be made at the workshop. The important thing is for people to know their ideas and opinions have been heard and that their ideas will be considered during the final decision making process.

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