A strategic vision is meant to articulate the preferred future of your organization. But visions are too often written as broad, idealistic statements that don’t explicitly convey change. So, several years ago I developed a tool called the “Change Trajectory Chart”. It assists you in framing your organization’s strategic vision as change.

Creating a Change Trajectory Chart is deceivingly simple and a remarkably powerful way to draw a contrast between the current and desired state. Here’s how to create one:

  1. Make a two-column table. Label column one “current state” and column two “desired state in X years” Specify the time horizon of your vision.
  2. Now ask, “what will be most different in X years if we are fully living out our purpose?” Record your team’s brainstorm in column two.
  3. For every item in column two write a statement in column one that describes your organization today with regard to that theme. This exercise requires honesty.
  4. Now go back to column two and challenge the group to stretch – to be more bold and aspirational.

  5. Review the statements and select three to five most significant concrete changes that define your organization’s desired future.

A change trajectory statement might look like this:

Current state: Customer experience is consistently described as disappointing. Our repeat customer rate is 18% compared to the industry average of 34%.

Desired state in 5 years: Our customer experience ratings and repeat purchases will surpass the industry average at this time.

Paired statements like these highlight the gap between what is now and what will be at a specified point in the future. This gap creates a call to change and answers the question: Why must our organization move beyond the status quo?

I encourage you to use this tool with your team and employ it to convey your future vision to others.

Please also share any tools you have found to be useful in developing and communicating your organization’s strategic priorities…

Image Credit: Bernd Dittrich on Unsplash

Share This