I’ve since learned that it’s far from intuitive for everyone else.
Most people don’t think about the steps that are needed for personal or business success, and those that do can become easily frustrated with the planning process.
In 1998, when I was first exposed to visualization at an Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) meeting. I started to think of this whole process as ‘leaning out into the future,’ which many people find helpful when they’re trying to understand this process. Eight years later, I heard another Vancouver entrepreneur, David Chalk, describe visualization as ‘leaning out into the future,’ too. Obviously, it made sense to people to think about the process this way.
A few of the other entrepreneurs from my EO Forum Group also got excited about this process and began to use visualization and the reverse engineering it in our own ways.
Once you’ve leaned out into the future and created your Painted Picture, reverse engineer to make it happen. A good example of how this works is the custom home construction process. In this specific scenario, the finished product—the home—is the equivalent of our Painted Picture. But before creating it, home builders meet with clients and ask them to describe all kinds of areas of the home they want built or renovated. They get photos from clients and draft sketches based on these photos and other materials. After a few discussions to determine precisely what the clients want, the desired home begins to take shape visually. The plans, the builder and architect then draw up show a clear, painted picture of what the home should look like.
Using the plans as a guide, construction workers, electricians, plumbers and other team members build the client’s dream home, or ‘reverse engineer’ it. Custom home construction is the perfect example of reverse engineering in action: by starting with what the home should look like, all of the players on the team, from construction workers to the folks putting the paint on the walls, know exactly what they’re supposed to do. Everyone’s role is clear and the desired outcome is, too. It should work the same way in your organization and it can—but only if you use a Painted Picture as a guide.
I always mention to the CEOs that I coach that an organization’s Painted Picture should serve the same purpose for you and your employees as the plans for a custom home: it should show you the way forward in reaching your ultimate objectives for your organization.
Don’t forget: Draft your Painted Picture with care, attention, and detail. This way, everyone on your team understands his or her role.