"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will." George Bernard Shaw
I am privileged to be a member of Rotary International. In case you are not familiar with this incredible organization, Rotary International encourages and fosters the ideals of service throughout the world. One of Rotary's objectives is to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
This objective manifests in the implementation of a vast array of community projects as well as the initiation, contribution to and coordination of humanitarian projects the world over. I have found Rotary to be full of people who are extremists. They are Can Do Extremists. If it needs to be done, they do it, and then immediately and aggressively look for the next thing that needs doing in the world. Rotary Can Do energy is extremely contagious.
Our local club generates large sums of money in various fundraising ventures. The Club carries out a multitude of projects on the local, national and international level. We just celebrated our 40th anniversary, and could be considered a model club by most counts. It would be easy to sit back and rest on our many successes as a club. But our club leadership is not at all interested in the comforts of the status quo.
This past week nearly 30 members of our 145 member club volunteered an evening of their time to collaborate on creating their vision for our club's next five years. Club members challenged themselves to look beyond their successful track record…to be audacious, to be outrageous. They were asked to time travel to the year 2015 and to pretend they were looking back on the past 5 years. As club members shared ideas for new projects and fundraising endeavors, the room fairly buzzed with creative energy. Members were clearly pumped by investing an evening of their time to create the future of their Rotary club.
Imagine it is 2015, and you have experienced Your Best Year Yet 5 years in a row. Each year has been better than the last and you are well on your way to experiencing Your Best Decade Yet. What have you accomplished? What have you experienced? How have you contributed to making the world a better place? What problems have you helped to solve? What's better in 2015 because of you?
While questions like these can be asked of each of us personally, they are also powerful questions to transform your business or organization. They can transform your work roles or your personal roles. Today's extremely competitive workplace demands constant and continuous improvement at every level of the organization. Not only is it mission critical to be improving business and work processes, but each and every individual involved in the organization needs to be personally stretching and growing.
We find that when we, and our clients, take a little time out to imagine and create an empowering vision, how we will realize that vision becomes a little clearer. Yes, a plan is still important, but planning without vision is uninspired. That kind of planning often disappoints.