$ Questions for Discussing Long Term Vision

4 Questions for Discussing Long Term Vision

Many sport and recreation organizations are focused on the here and now. The main priority is getting through the daily operations and onto the next season. We know we should think about our long term vision for the club, but there’s so much to do!

Occasionally, we take the time every few years to develop a strategic plan. That’s often when we think three to five years down the road. Other than that, we’re right back to being focused on the ‘now’ and the ‘what’s next’.

Today, I offer 4 questions about that you can ask your board (or staff) to help you think about your long-term vision. I use these questions with my clients when we work to develop their strategic plans. These questions can be used anytime, whether it’s during a regular board meeting or when the board experiences a transition.

BHAGs and Bold Ideas

"Thinking about the future, what is one bold idea that could positively impact the organization?" lays in the middle on white, surrounded a colourful bolder

The first question is about bold ideas. A Big Hairy Audacious Goal. When you ask someone to think of a *bold* idea, emphasis on the bold, it shifts their thinking from the existing limits to what’s possible. We often create limits for ourselves and hold ourselves to tradition. Big ideas are possible if we expand our mindset. Or, maybe it isn’t possible, but we find a viable option beyond what we currently think we’re capable of. Either way, this question makes for an inspiring conversation.

Long-Term Future

"Imagine it’s the year 2043. Describe what you envision the organization looks like. Does it do anything new or different? What programs and services does it run? What are its values? Who does it serve? What major goals or milestones has it achieved?" lays in the center on white, encircled by a colourful border.

Pick a date far in the future. 10 years, 20 years, heck, 50 years! How many people think about their organizations 50 years into the future? Few very, if any. Why is this important? Say your dream is to build or own a facility. Such an endeavour could take years of planning, fundraising, and mobilizing. This could be a lengthy process which outlasts several strategic plans. As they say, there’s no better time than today to plant a tree. Answering this question will allow you to start planting seeds now.

Core Values

"How do we demonstrate our core values?" sitting on white, surrounded by a colourful border

Values are an organization’s north star and should guide how the members of that organization act. Almost every sport and recreation organization has a set of them. But have we ever asked ourselves how we exhibit or execute them? I think this is a great question to ask our participants – our athletes, coaches, officials-as well as our staff and board. If we say we value integrity, how are we exhibiting this? Share specific examples. Where are we not exhibiting this and how could we improve?

Start, Stop, Continue

Long Term Vision Blog Post - SSC

I recently read a journaling prompt that suggested, ask yourself, “what’s one thing that I need to change immediately?”. I thought the question was revelatory. Organizations can be big ships that take a long time to turn. We may not always address things as quickly as we should. It may be that a thing is working well enough. Or, functioning poorly, but not quite poor enough to address. Asking these questions can help us identify what needs to be done now. Then we can act.

In Summary

Having discussions about long term vision will bring new energy to a room. It can change the conversation.  These questions can inspire the board and organization to think bigger.

If you decide to have a discussion about one of these questions, let me know how it went! I’d love to hear.

Scroll to Top