converting vision into reality – don’t give the whole thing away in the first meeting

I have been in too many meetings where the first part of the meeting is the brainstorm of what we might do to address the opportunity at hand, and the remainder of the meeting is the long, tedious process of turning that vision into a project plan with dates and deliverables and milestones and activities that can be resolved into auditable checkboxes on a spreadsheet. And you know what? I hate the work that turns vision into process before the vision has had a chance to see how things actually are for a while.

When you’re on with a vision of how something could or should be, that great idea of yours is a liability, not an asset. It’s going to take some huge amount of effort or activation of an existing set of skills or knowledge to go from bright idea to something that someone else can buy into. Resist the temptation to let other people have your perspective on the world spelled out to them too clearly before it gets a chance to adapt to circumstances, or at the very least if you are going to do this for someone for money sell them something that captures not just the time spent in that room but the whole world that you bring to making that room reflect reality.


2 thoughts on “converting vision into reality – don’t give the whole thing away in the first meeting

  1. Edward

    I was thinking through the complicated game of work for hire, and the odd incentives people have to deliver precisely what was specified, even if during the duration of the contract the specifications are determined to be wrong in some way.


    Good point, Ed. I’ve been in a lot of those too. And you are right, it then turns into a list of deliverables, indicators, etc. and in my experience a lot of those get lost somewhere down the road as they run into unanticipated circumstances.
    Maybe one approach would be to summarize the vision (and point out contradictory goals from different corners) and put it out for contemplation and comment for a stated period. Not anonymous comment, I would hope.


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