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Visioning Workshop

visioning workshop #1A Visioning Workshop facilitated by Joe Synan of Kingswood, TX, followed the Executive Council meeting on Saturday, March 12, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. Synan is the founder of Leadingwell Associates, a "consulting practice dedicated to strengthening leaders and teams."

The Executive Council was joined by members of the Standing Committee, the board of the Diocesan Corporation, and the board for the Endowment for the Episcopate for the workshop, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All visitors also were invited to participate.

Prior to the workshop, Synan had sent members of these groups copies of a 1996 article from the Harvard Business Review Magazine entitled Building Your Company's Vision.

The article was used as a springboard for the workshop, and statements drawn from it provided a foundation for the work of the day: "Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world" and "Vision provides guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate progress toward" and "A well-conceived vision consists of two major components: core ideology and envisioned future."

Synan divided participants into groups of six, each seated at a round table. For the first exercise, "the Five Why's," he asked each person to answer the questions "What does the diocese do?" and "Why is this important?" Once the second question was answered, they were to ask of it, "Why is this important?" And then to ask of that answer, "Why is this important?" and so on for five iterations.

visioning workshop #2After each had completed his or her answers, they shared them with each other, and then each table shared the common themes that emerged with the rest of the group. Synan gathered up the responses to collate and report back to the group after lunch.

For each exercise, Synan had participants move to different groups, so no one was working with the same group all day. Exercises included writing "big holy audacious goals" for the next 3 to 5 years, goals that were desirable, believable and discernable; and creating a "vibrant vivid description" of what achieving that goal will look like what will the diocese look like in 2016?

Everything each group came up with was shared with the entire room, written on big sheets of paper and posted around the room. As the group worked to come up with the core values of the diocese, Synan asked them to think about what it's like to be around someone who has just finished a great Italian meal that person reeks of garlic.

visioning workshop #3So, he asked, what are the things this diocese reeks of what values so permeate the air that anyone coming even near the diocese is aware of them?

The group decided the core values of our diocese are:

  • Christ-centered holiness
  • Inclusivity
  • Welcoming
  • Transparency
  • Generosity
  • Joy
  • Health
  • Future Oriented

So what happens now? The results of the six groups' work on Saturday will be assembled by Synan and sent to Demi Prentiss. It will then be posted on the diocesan web site and communicated to diocesan leaders, parishes, and any interested diocesan or parish committee or group as fodder for future discussions of the diocesan vision and mission and development of action items aimed at living into that vision and mission.

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