“The challenge is making sure that everyone has a shared vision of what is being built and why throughout the development process. ”


Yes, that is the challenge, isn’t it, for all our projects as thought workers? Not just accessing a vision, as in top-down “here’s the vision”-vision, but a shared vision.  In the ideas economy, it’s no longer enough to develop a product.  You are also in parallel developing the shared vision of the product and why it is being built.  In other words, you are producing a story about its cultural significance.

To get at shared vision, an organization has to invite probing questions and make it authentically safe to ask and answer them.  Here are some…

  • Who has input into what is being developed/built?
  • Do different types of stakeholders get to talk with one another?  Do they want to?
  • Do people get to see each other’s work and how it fits together?  Are they curious to want to?
  • Are people – including workers – invited to add their own meanings about what is significant to them personally about the product?
  • How often is it discussed why we are developing/making this thing?
  • What does “throughout” mean to us…daily, weekly, monthly, formally, informally, over coffee, at certain critical checkpoints, whenever we log-in, at different times according to their  functional schedules?  Does “throughout” have a beginning, middle and end?
  • How does this story get told?
  • How does it feel different to produce something that has cultural significance?
  • (How) do we recognize cultural significance as a part of quality?