Dream Big- And Write About It!

Posted: July 15, 2008 in Leadership
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Over the past few months I have began taking a liking to a system that my Organizational Behavior teacher has us use, Writing about Future Successes. Many of you who have been reading for a while know what I’m talking about, and for those of you who do not, check out my About Me page and scroll down to My Future section. As I build on the technique it is really beginning to take on a whole new meaning and possibility. 

One of the characteristics I hope to instill as a future leader in any company is having employees contribute greatly to the company’s vision, goals, culture, mission and ideas. One of the things that I have really liked are the “Dream Retreats” that are suggested in The Disney Way book. In these members of a team, gathered from all over an organization, leave company property for a few days and spend it dreaming up new ideas and solutions to a problem,  whether it be building a new refrigerator and creating a whole new theme park! During these times employees are encouraged, and required, to Dream Big about solutions. No holds barred, no limits in resources, nothing but dreams, imagination and ideas. Imagine the possibilities and endless fresh ideas that could be accumulated it managers let all of their employees contribute ideas to a project. Imagine the kind of team environment that would be built around a possible venture if everyone on the team had a say in what exactly that venture was and how to pursue it. In an essence everyone really takes ownership of the project. Walt Disney used this technique for basically everything he did. When he was building Disneyland, they had Cinderellas Castle built first so everyone in the park could see it and remember what they were working for!

    This brings me back around to the system introduced in my Organizational Behavior class that I am building upon for a possible leadership and motivational technique— Dreaming the Future (working name, maybe I can come up with something catchy, so help me out!)–. In this, an individual, or a team, is asked to write an article or letter about themselves, their team, their company, their new product etc. that would appear in a major publication or be sent from someone x amount of days, weeks or years from now. The way that I have used this as of now is creating a “Autobiography” of myself fifteen years in the future (As can be seen on the About Me Page). This exercise has helped me to really develop goals for my life and a path in which I can pursue them. It has been a huge motivating factor and has allowed me to “dream big”.

     Now for the leadership part. My idea is that whenever a team is asked to develop something, lets use a Corporate Event as an example, they write about it from several points of view. Maybe someone in the group writes a letter that would be sent to the company from a guest after the event detailing what made the event magical and special. Maybe one would be from the CEO of the clients company about what made working with your team so enjoyable. Another could be a News Paper article detailing why the recent (Company Name) event was such a huge success. You encourage everyone to be as creative, imaginative and “lofty” as they can be in these. Imagine the ideas that would come about by taking everyone input! Imagine the kind of excitement that would build around a project if everyone had the ability to dream about it instead of just being asked to “Put the silverware on the table”.

    This technique could also work in Church Environments (gleaming from my Church Production History). Possibly a huge event is coming up, say an out of school bash, and you and your team are coming up with ideas of what could make it great. Have everyone write a letter from a teens perspective of the event, of a reporters perspective or just a general article of what made the event a success.

Remember: No Dream is to Big in this Phase. You are just accumulating ideas! And what better resource to tap into than people who already know your company from the inside out!

More to Come— Just getting my ideas and thoughts out there!


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