Excerpt 2


2. Visioning

Visioning (Pre-Planning)

You know what you want.  It’s clear in your mind.  A sunny park, a cheerful pre-school, a classy face-lift on the buildings down town, a culinary training institute for the local junior college with a great on-site restaurant where young people learning to be top chefs serve fabulous meals at rock bottom prices, etc.  And Cinderella, as she sat by her cold hearth and dreamed, knew exactly how she wanted to arrive at the ball – crystal beads sewn into her white gauze ball gown, pearl necklaces around her throat and red plumes on the white ponies that pulled her coach.  She got exactly what she wanted.  You won’t.

Unless you have a fairy godmother to move your dreams right from your head into reality, you are going to have to get others involved in helping you.  They may be inspired by your vision, but they won’t buckle down and help you with the grunt work unless they have their own vision, something compelling enough to make them turn off the TV and roll up their sleeves.  And their vision is going to be different from your vision.  Also, if you want to get funding for your project, you will most likely be asking the support of government agencies or philanthropic institutions that have their own visions of what they want to see happen for communities.  Success will only come if you find a way to bring all these visions together.

What happens when all these visions get together can be magic.  Other people will bring wonderful ideas and great strategies that you would never have thought of.   At the same time this process can be maddening.  You find yourself losing control of a dream.

The process of moving from vision to reality is a process of change.  If you accept that this is going to happen, you can make it easier on yourself.  After all, the core of your vision is to fulfill some need that you see in your community.  The details you add to this core build motivation and excitement, but they are not essential.  As you go through the steps in this chapter, think about how you might let go of some of these details and hold on to the heart of your dream.  Let go of your vision, and watch it grow.



Overview  |  Visioning  |  Measuring Program Benefits |  Forming an Advisory Committee