Why shared vision isn’t that important for small towns

Many programs for small towns have a list prerequisites that starts with “shared vision.”

Consensus seems to always be on the list of qualities you need to succeed as a town, and every small town success case study seems to start with “we had a compelling shared vision.”

How you’re supposed to get there is usually left pretty vague.

You’re not likely to find much helpful advice beyond platitudes like “Share a compelling vision everyone can get behind.”

And hold a lot of community meetings. Yeah, that’ll fix it.

I live in a town of 30 people, I don’t think there is a single compelling vision every one of us could get behind. How are you supposed to get complete agreement in a town of 300 or 3,000 or 13,000 different human beings? It’s mind-boggling.

What if you’re in a town that has opposition? What if you lack support of existing leaders? What if you’re caught in a terrible power struggle or outright conflict? Does that mean you can’t do anything to help your town?

There’s no magic fiat power. You don’t just declare a vision and suddenly accrue support. But there is a process.

Old way: shared vision

Idea Friendly way: mutual respect, shared values, shared experiences

And the real secret there is the shared experience. Bring people together outside the meeting room to share an experience that will change the conversation.

Spend less time convincing people to agree with you.

Spend more time enticing people to be part of something together.

Learn more about the Idea Friendly Method in our video:

Idea Friendly Next Steps