In every book about teamwork, software management, etc you will read the same, great teams have a shared vision.
My idea of a shared vision is different from what you will find in most books. These books talk about creating a shared vision statement. For me a shared vision is a state, not a statement.

Yes creating a statement together is one way of creating such a shared vision state. I’m afraid that people reading about such a workshop, only think about the visual result (the statement) and try to be efficient and come up with a statement themselves.
No matter how smart you are, no matter if you found the best shared vision statement, you wasted all your time and probably made the life of the team member a lot more miserable. Although I’m not a big footbal expert, my nicest example of a shared vision state is when one player runs along the line with the ball and then passes to the other side, without looking, knowing his colleague is there.

The visions statement of such a team could be as simple as “we will win as much as possible” or even “have fun all the way”. Does this mean the statement does not matter at all? Once a shared vision statement is created it’s most important work is done.
Now it is used to remind the team of the state of shared vision.
While I’m working, I’m completely in a flow going in one direction, and that might not be in the direction of the team. When we have a shared vision statement. This statement will remind me about the vision space I shared with my colleagues.
Getting teams in that space called shared vision is one of the most powerfull ways a coach can help a team.

Jim and Michele McCarthy think a shared vision is so important that they spend 4 days from their 5 days Teamwork Bootcamp on it.  As unbelieveble as its sound, they have found a predictable way to bring teams in a state of shared vision. (Everytime I participated in a bootcamp I saw working. Ok, that is exagerated, everytime except one, and I also know why it did not work that one time.)

Although I think it is the best way. It’s not the only way. You also have Lyssa’s journey lines or the Strategic Play creating a Vision with lego.


Agile Practises that support a Shared Vision:

Books & Articles to read

Books recommended by others:

4 Responses to “Shared Vision”

  1. Shyam says:


    In addition to the resources that you mention – I would like to bring to your attention the work of Jay Vogt – and particularly his work called “Grounded visioning”.

    This work is described in detail in Jay’s book – “Recharge your team”.

    Jay and Jim (McCarthy) have met and spoken – when Jim was here in Boston in 2010 – and I believe that Jim acknowledged the ‘quick start’ value of the ‘Grounded visioning’ process.

    I have seen how Jay used this method to engage over 400 people at Hampshire college over 2 days out here in Massachusetts – and distilled all their passion and energies and helped create their strategic plan. It was an awesome display.

    Incidentally – Jay was the Open Space Facilitator at Agile Games 2011 – and also presented a well attended session on day # 2 of Agile Games 2011 – on how one can use this method with one’s team at work.



  2. yhanoulle says:

    Thanks Shyam. Wonderfull. I added the Jay’s book to to toread list on my kindle. You reminded me of how OST can help for a shared vision also, I’ll add the butterflies and the bies of OST to practices.
    Do you know of any agile games that help with shared vision?

  3. Shyam says:


    I do not know a specific game – but Jay’s exercise – is a game-like set of activities – which leads to a “shared vision” (all in a matter of an hour or two).

    Jay spoke about how to do this one of the sessions at Agile Games.

    The set of activities is also described in his book. Chapter 6 for small groups – and Chapter 8 for large groups – i.e. groups of 50 – 100+ people.

    As mentioned – I saw this being done for a large group – i.e. 4 groups – each having about 100 people.

    I also believe that it can be done for a smaller team as well.


  4. Thierry CONTER says:

    I would like to mention the 1995 article of J.R. Latham: “Visioning: The Concept, Trilogy, and Process” (

    He says: “The progressive realization of the vision is critical to success. Inspiration is the force behind the motivation to act, and action toward the vision is what ultimately makes the vision a reality.”