Visions for Change are the Starting Point for a Chain

vision → objectives → goals → activities.†† To make the change vision tangible, change agents need to specify measurable goals for their change efforts. The research on goal setting has been quite clear on the benefits of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals.115 The provision of direction with measurable results for feedback galvanizes many people to pursue desired aims. This is easy to say, but defining the right measurable goals is not straightforward. Perhaps a critical task is to persuade a key stakeholder to view the change positively. How does one assess when such attitudes are beginning to change and capture the progress? Identifying interim goals, indicators of progress, and key milestones that demonstrate progress toward the end goals of the change vision are challenges that will be dealt with in subsequent chapters. See Toolkit Exercise 4.3 to practice writing a vision statement, then move on to Toolkit Exercise 4.4 to combine your understanding for the need for change and your newly crafted vision statement.

†† We use the following definitions. Mission means the overall purpose of the organization. Vision means the ultimate or ideal goal pursued. Thus, for a social service agency, the mission might be to look after the homeless and improve their health outcomes. The vision could be to eradicate homelessness and related health issues in the community by 2020. The change vision related specifically to accommodations might then be to provide access to safe, affordable housing for 60% of the homeless in the community within the next three years.

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