It is easy to get excited about a vision, but often, visions don’t get translated into action. As community leaders, we are tasked with turning visions into reality and making actions happen. It is our responsibility to properly plan and delegate as to prevent group energy from being wasted on nonproductive tasks.
A simple guideline can be followed to get you and your group started on turning vision into action. This guideline includes framing priorities; developing indicators of success; and setting clear, measurable, and attainable goals, or SMART goals.
Step 1: Prioritize Tasks
Where do you start?
- As a group, revisit your vision. Make sure most participants agree with it.
- Next, identify the key tasks that must occur to achieve the vision.
- List smaller subtasks that support the key tasks.
*Remember, these are “big picture” ideas and finite details can be addressed later.
- Now you can begin prioritizing the tasks. Decide which task will have the most impact when completed. Pay close attention to which tasks must be completed to make other tasks easier.
Step 2: Develop Indicators
How will you know if you’ve succeeded?
- Once you have your tasks prioritized, make a list of the products (what is produced) and the processes (how they are produced) for each task.
- List indicators for these products and processes by beginning to apply the SMART criteria.
Step 3: Set Goals
Apply the SMART goals concept to each of your tasks.
- Are they Specific? Do they answer the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why)?
- Are they Measurable? Set milestones for tasks to make them more tangible.
- Are they Achievable? Do you have the skills and tools necessary to make it happen?
- Are they Relevant? Does it make sense? Will this task help further the vision?
- Are they Time-bound? Your vision will fail if none of your tasks have deadlines.
Use charts and tables to adequately list your tasks, indicators and goals. Make sure your group understands the steps and get to work delegating. You now have turned your vision into action!
Krile, J. F. (2006) The Community Leadership Handbook. Framing Ideas, Building Relationships, and Mobilizing Resources. New York, NY: Turner Publishing.