Vision Wheel

200407064-001Rapport Leadership graduates will tell you that attending a Rapport Leadership course is unlike any other they have attended. The reason for this is Rapport Leadership does not drum leadership theory into the heads of its students. Rather it draws it out through a series of exercises or processes.

Below is a process called Vision Wheel which you may want to use at your next team meeting or strategy planning session.


Develop a compelling and powerful Breakthrough Vision that leads, motivates and inspires your organization. Assess and enhance your organization’s current vision by aligning daily actions with your ongoing strategic plan using the Vision Wheel model.


Two of the most essential elements to the success of any business today reside in the power and effectiveness of leadership and vision. Leaders drive vision and vision drives the leader. Most vision statements do not align with all aspects of the business; they do not guide daily strategy, and they do not inspire action. A Breakthrough Vision brings all aspects of the business together to exist in the present as well as the future. It operates as the cultural glue that connects and guides all communication in a common thread of execution and sustainable growth.

 Set up:

Review and display the Vision Wheel discussing the inner and outer layers that must align in a Breakthrough Vision.

Inner layer includes:

Core purpose and mission, Values and philosophy,Passion, motivation, and commitment, Business priorities (12-18 months)

Outer layer includes:

Long-term strategic goals, Vivid picture and dream of the future (BHAG= Big Hairy Audacious Goal*), Customer and Stakeholder Needs,Market demands and global changes

visionwheelPhase 1
Prepare four flip charts and label each with the four inner layers of the Vision Wheel. Break participants into four groups and have each group identify, discuss and capture their thoughts on their assigned element of the Vision Wheel. Have each group share their insights listed on the flip charts to the entire group.

Phase 2
Repeat the Phase 1 process for the four outer layers of the Vision Wheel.

Phase 3
Discuss your organization’s current vision and opportunities for enhancing it using the following elements of a Breakthrough Vision.

• An expected and desired future state
• A vivid picture and dream
• Moves people to action
• Focuses attention on current priorities
• Inspires action inside and outside the organization
• Bridges the present and the future (internal and external performance)
• Creates commitment, meaning and purpose
• Empowers excellence
• Unleashes individual and organizational potential
• Unifying power and energy that guides passion
• The “communication compass” for directing strategy

Phase 4
Overlay each external layer of The Vision Wheel with each internal layer discussing the current alignments and possible misalignments. There are 16 possible combinations. (i.e. Core Purpose and Mission overlaid with the four outer layers of the Vision Wheel.) Create an action plan for improving each Vision Wheel combination.

A Breakthrough Vision is essential for moving any organization in the right direction and must be the cultural cement for bonding the thousands of daily actions together. Every communication, system, process, action and strategy must link to the organization’s Breakthrough Vision. Change is fast, relentless and inevitable. Change demands aligning the layers of the Vision Wheel for short and long-term success.

Sources: Visionary Leadership by Burt Nanus
The Fifth Discipline Field Book by Senge, Ross, Smith, Roberts, and Kleiner
*Built to Last by Collins and Porras 

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