How to Create a Vision Board and Why!

Recently I wrote a post “Look where you are going!” Part of looking where you are going is defining the future and then telling someone. 

Allowing your team to be a part of the process allows them to be on board from the beginning.    My project managers and I have a weekly meeting where we bring our minds together and think through our jobs and plan for the future.  Its also an opportunity to incorporate some training into our week. So a few weeks ago, we spent  several hours working on our construction vision board.

You might be saying, what the heck is a vision board.  Quite simply, a vision board is a bulletin board like surface where you tape, tack, glue, or stick with chewing gum pictures and phrases that give you a physical representation of where you want to go.

Imagine construction managers sitting around a table, tearing pages from magazines, and using scissors to carve out the images and phrases they wanted.  It was quite the sight! At the end though we had a vision board of where our team wanted to head.  You too can create a vision board by following these steps.

Steps on creating a vision board:

1. Create your own vision board first. This is obviously if you have a team vision board in mind, but its hard to sell anything you don’t own yourself.  Buying into the idea first, and working through the process is the way to ensure your team will accept it as well.

2. Gather your supplies.  I purchased a large size cork board from Staples with a box of thumb tacks.  You can use whatever creative tacking device you desire.  As a tip though, you may find that by placing a vision out in front of you, you will in fact reach it and then quickly need to update it. For that thumb tacks are nice.   Gather magazines and scissors.  Industry specific magazines have their advantages, but in general, just a bunch of magazines will work.

3. View an example of a vision board.  For this one, I showed the guys my personal vision board.  For someone who hasn’t made one before, its easy to be overwhelmed not knowing where to start.  Being a visual learner myself, seeing one makes all the difference. It also gave me an opportunity to share with my team where I am heading.  Here is a picture of my actual vision board

Personal Vision Board4. Pull pages from the magazines. Start removing pages from the magazines with a picture or word that strikes a cord with where you want to be.  Be creative here but don’t over analyze.  Sometimes just a phrase will leap out.  Also, use this as an opportunity to push yourself. When I first selected the picture of the man in the suit above, it gave me a sense of unease.  I told myself “construction workers don’t wear suits.” But it spoke to me as a tailored business man striving for an excellent appearance.  That is where I am heading.

5. Ask the right questions. For our construction vision board, I kept verbalizing a few main questions. What projects would we like to build? What do our clients look like? What vehicles do we want to drive? What do our employees and subs look like? What do we want our office to look like? These questions help to stay focused.

6. Trim non-essential aspects out! It’s important to trim out aspects of the pictures that don’t need to be there.  Having yourself or your crew seeing an image  that doesn’t even belong on the board is the what you are avoiding.   You don’t want to include visions you don’t want to become.  My belief is everything on your vision board is part of your future!

7. Organize the clippings. Pin your clippings in a way that enables you to see a layered future.  You will want to be able to glance quickly at the board and have the images enter your brain immediately.

8. Post it where you can see it. This may be a duh to some, but don’t put your new vision board in a closet.  Give it a prominent spot where your team and employees are sure to see it.  This way, it can become a shared vision for all. My personal vision board is above my desk at home.

Team Vision Board

So there we have it.  Two of our team members and our vision board.  It took us about two hours, and was more than worth it.  So go create your vision board.  You will receive immeasurable value.

What’s one image you would put on your vision board?

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