I visited Disney World 30 years ago when Epcot was new. I was still in college and was traveling with a couple of friends. The Disney bus driver got up and shared with great passion about the other theme parks and hotels that Disney had in their long term plan. He shared that their goal was to have vacationers come to Orlando, go straight to a Disney hotel, play at the various Disney theme parks, and then go back to the airport and fly home, never setting foot in any other theme park. No Seaworld, no Busch Gardens, just Disney. I turned to my travel buddies and said, "Yeah, right! No way that would ever happen!"
Fast forward 26 years... God has now blessed me with a beautiful wife and 2 children. Pei-Yee and I shared with our children that we were going to Orlando for a vacation. My older daughter was very excited. Then, to my surprise, she asked if we could just go to Disney and not go anywhere else. We ended up enjoying the Disney magical experience. They pick up your bags from the airport, and they magically appear in your room. When it's time to leave, they take your bags from your room and get it to the airport for you. When we were booking our trip, I suddenly recalled the bus driver 30 years ago and how the vision he shared had just been fulfilled in my life. Wow!
Vision and visualization techniques work great in long term planning. We often help companies develop their long term plans by visualizing their future and writing a painted picture of what it would look like. But this technique is not limited to developing a long term vision. It also works great for planning for the year or the quarter ahead. Visualization is a time-tested, proven technique that helps you to focus on positive mental images in order to achieve a goal. Michael Jordan used visualization to achieve great success in basketball.
So how do you apply this to building your annual plan? In your annual planning session, use the Destination Postcard exercise:
- Imagine that you have a time machine. Step into it and zip to the end of next year.
- When you step out of the time machine. What do you see?
- Write down what you visualized stepping out of the time machine.
- Then ask yourself - what are the top 3 things that had to happen in order to fulfill this beautiful picture of the future?
- Write this down as a Destination Postcard for yourself.
If you happen to be a Rhythm client, discuss with your Rhythm Coach and get clear on how to facilitate this in your annual planning session.