Using a framework to reach your vision or goal
The Ideal Consultant defined by the picture-frame strategy
A common framework for achieving a goal or vision is the picture-frame. In my first two blogs, we looked at two different examples of being an “Ideal” consultant. How did I derive the baseline for what is ideal? In this post, I am going to pause for a moment and describe how to build a framework for any goal or vision you have. I did not learn the picture-frame method from Will Mancini, but his clarity for using a picture frame here to describe how to reach a goal is simple. It is a great example of what I learned from working at various organizations over the years. Many organizational leaders use different analogies of how to reach a goal like this or this. However, the picture-frame is simple and easy to remember so let’s take a look.
The base framework – starting from the beginning to reach your goal
The framework described below is how I worked on this idea of an “ideal consultant”. Each blog after this will relate back to the framework and describe an aspect of the frame I created. My 28 years of experience is in the software development field. So, my frame of reference for consulting is related to providing a software solution to a client who has a problem. That said, the picture-frame vision can be used in any setting to develop a foundation for how to do consulting of any type. So, what is this picture frame?
The framework of a picture frame analogy, to reach your vision or goal, starts with the picture. It is what you are trying to accomplish…your vision. It is framed in on 4 sides by the key components needed to reach that vision. For now, let me define each section and then give a simple example to finish this blog. We will continue talking about this picture frame in subsequent blogs. Specifically, in the next blog I will reveal what I envision for an ideal consultant.
Explaining the vision picture-frame
- The Picture – Goal or Vision: Many people will confuse and use a mission statement interchangeably with the vision statement. The vision statement, however, is “where” you want to go and the mission statement is what you need to do to get there. This is why the vision is represented by the picture itself in the analogy. What would life look like when we reach where we are going? What is your Utopia? As you will find out, the frame can change over time but the vision of where you want to go will not change.
- Side 1 of the Frame – The Mission Statement: The mission statement is a short description of “what” you need to do to reach your goal or vision. The mission is not what it looks like once you’ve arrived, the mission statement is the call to arms, the rally cry of how we are going to conquer the hill.
- Side 2 of the Frame – The Strategy: Now that we know where we are headed and what we need to do to get there, the strategy is a list of ways you can accomplish the mission. The strategy is the “how”, how can we achieve the mission and ultimately arrive at our vision.
- Side 3 of the Frame – The Values: The values are the core concepts you live by. They are the truths in your vision that you know will aid you in the pursuit of your vision. The values are the “why”. Why are we reaching this goal, why are we using this strategy versus others, and why is this mission the one we are choosing.
- Side 4 of the Frame – The Measurements: This is easily the most neglected, but, by far, most important side of the picture frame. If you are trying to reach your vision, how do you know if you are succeeding? So, to measure is to know “when”. Knowing when you are moving forward, or backwards or even sideways is crucial to reaching your goal.
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I mentioned above that the vision will stay the same but the frames could change over time. How do I know if I need to change any of them? Well, the measurements tell you. Therefore, it is ok if your beginning values and strategies change over time. Finding the right picture-frame for your vision picture sometimes doesn’t happen on the first try.
So how does the framework for reaching your vision or goal work in real life?
Example Vision Framework: A vision for a healthier life
Vision – Getting in shape (picture of a healthy person)
Mission – By changing my diet and exercise, I am going to get in shape
- Work out 3 times a week.
- Eat only half of what is on the plate for each meal.
Values – Honesty, Hard-work, healthy food, discipline, self-control
Measurements – Each week I will measure my waist and my weight to see if I am making progress.
The above is a simple example of how the picture-frame works. But do you see how you can envision a goal and use the frame to reach that goal? I will use this picture-frame to show my vision of consulting but, more than that, I want you to use this method to dream big and reach your own vision for your work or life. Use the comments below to tell me what goal you want to reach and lets use this framework, together, to envision a better way of doing work, doing life or just simply being a part of this planet.
Enjoyed reading your article Mike! Concise and targeted.