Vision development

Creating a shared understanding of future possibilities

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The Natural Step Framework consists of four steps which are repeated as an organisation progresses toward sustainability.
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Shared understanding occurs when the thoughts and actions of a number of people can be co-ordinated to achieve joint outcomes – some common or shared goal. Iwi/hapū may work to create a focus or vision – a shared understanding of future possibilities that then can guide their actions and help build practical ways in which they might express their mana and rangatiratanga over their rohe moana. Such a vision is a collective belief in what we (iwi/hapū/agency) can become.

A vision is not only a destination, but a shared understanding that we hold together, that surrounds us and guides our daily activities.  From this perspective, a shared vision is a form of self-identity and collective identity. It is something that would be missed if we were not to fulfil this vision.

The difference between a vision and a mission:

  • A mission is what an organization does, its action; a vision is what an organization would like to happen as a result of the action that it does.
  • Mission equals the action; vision is the ultimate result of the action.
  • Mission answers the question “What change is achieved because we exist?”
  • Vision answers the question: “What are the results, the ends, the consequences of our action?”
  • Vision looks forward; mission looks at today.

Do we need both a mission and a vision? Yes. To make sense of our work we need to be able to say to ourselves – both what we do and why.

Some say, “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.  If you have just a mission, the action written, – and not the vision, you will not know where you’re going or if you have arrived.”

Key idea: Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.


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December 12, 2012

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