You’ve probably heard the statement “Begin with the end in mind” sometime in your life.  It is a great guiding principle and also one you might fail to use when getting caught up in the many details that are part of planning and goal setting.  When a group is involved in creating a plan, the process can become even more complicated as various parties jockey to get their ideas heard and incorporated.  Like me, you’ve probably endured far too many meetings wondering if a plan would ever be conceived.
I want to offer a ray of hope today by sharing a group planning process I was part of recently that surprised even me.  It happened at the C.O.D. Ranch up in the mountains of Arizona with my fellow ACEP board members for our annual planning retreat.  This would be my 4th board retreat and I came in expecting that it would be like the others – with lengthy discussions, a few conflicts and eventually some decisions reached just because we were running out of time.  Perhaps it was the clear, still mountain air that helped this time, because 2012 was different!

This year we began our meeting by selecting three visions of what we wanted to see completed in the next 2-3 years, including a representative image of what that successful completion would look like for each of these.  We immediately started rolling with ideas and agreement.  Images of success were quickly noted on our flip charts and a list of dreams was compatible, and also quite synergistic. We created visual symbols of each success and reached unanimous approval.  Instead of moving on at that point, we stopped and had one of our board members lead us in a meditative visualization so that we all might fully visualize these outcomes from a place of joy and openness, trusting that the specifics would be handled.  We put each of our energies into the vision and expanded that vision to the highest good for all involved, allowing this or something better to happen.

At the end of this visualization, we had the structure and guidance for the smaller details.  It was amazing how the goals and decisions flowed very well from there.  Action items that facilitated the outcome were reached and responsibilities were clearly assigned.  Our plans were quite complete before the time ran out and more importantly we came up with some very exciting plans.

Time will tell whether our visions will become a reality, but I have a sense that the probability of success is high.  This process also allowed a more respectful and productive meeting.  We put energy into this plan and walked our walk as energy healers in the highest sense.

Maybe you have a meeting ahead that would benefit from this process too. 



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