Today I'm feeling a lot like Bush 41 who lamented that he didn't really get the "vision thing." I attended a meeting whose purpose was to develop a "vision" for the group we represent. This is called " a visioning process". Whenever a noun is turned into an adjective or a verb--look out.
Members of the group have gone back and forth for several months trying to develop statements of "vision". Every now and then we seem to have a consensus on one and then by the next meeting, through the magic of email, the consensus has dissolved and several new versions of the "vision" have been placed on the table for discussion.
Over the years I have been part of discussions like this in many different venues: school groups, the workplace, non-profit groups and the church. I've yet to see the adoption of a "vision statement" or even a "mission statement" make any difference a few months later.
The Bible says that without vision the people will perish--but I don't think that applies to vision statements. I'm the type of person who relates to well-defined goals and objectives. Tell me what you would like to accomplish and I can deal with trying to find a way to achieve that goal. "Visioning" seems to be a process of trying to get consensus on you want to accomplish. I find it frustrating and elusive.
Why is this type of process so popular? Most "vision" and "mission" statements are platitudinous and soon forgotten except by those who had to spend the time and energy crafting them. In today's meeting I felt like I had been dropped unceremoniously into an ongoing graduate seminar that was engaged in petty linguistic disputes.
Not that I have an opinion!