The third of the three stages of inner transition that accompany the outer journey to your vision is called incorporation.
Here, brick by brick, you build your vision, until one day you realise it is complete.
As one emergency room medic put it:
“It took about three years, and one day it just kinda clicked. Starting a shift in the emergency room is like the feeling before a giant battle in a movie like Braveheart or Lord of the Rings. You just have no idea what’s going to come through the door. But one day, after about three years it just kinda clicked. I finally stopped feeling nervous, because I’d reached a level of experience where I could make the correct decisions without thinking about them.”
The same will happen for everyone involved in creating your vision. As you move forward, everyone engaged in the transformation will have the stress of losing their old identity but also the opportunity to become a more expanded version of themselves.
For some people it will take three years. For others three weeks or three days. The more people are aware of and in touch with their inner leader and the lessons of The Churning, the less time it will take.
So repeat the vision. Update it as you move forward. Give everyone a role to play in bringing that vision to life, and recognise that the more explicitly their role aligns with their own purpose in life, the more committed they will be to building their own vision, and yours along with it. Because in building the vision they will be building themselves.
Celebrate the achievement of milestones and anniversaries with ‘rituals’ as appropriate. Remind people that the vision is being achieved. And continue to confirm, revise, or enhance that vision as you move forward. Remember that the vision is as much about how you operate together as what you do. And after a while you will realise that momentum has built to such an extent that you are no longer journeying towards your vision, you are living it.
New technologies will come and go and market conditions will change. But your role, and the role of every person in the organisation, will remain constant: to fulfil your function under those new conditions, in a way that is in line with your purpose, vision, and values. This is why Apple’s vision is articulated in terms of “deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.” Their vision is not “to build the world’s best ipod” because a) that could never be achieved, and b) on the day that the world no longer needed ipods the organisation would be stuck. By defining the vision in terms of culture and competencies (“collaboration and cross-pollination”) the organisation has a vision that can be achieved today, and can always be improved upon.
If you focus on the culture, celebrate the achievements of that culture, and then one day it “just kinda clicks”, then you know you have arrived at your destination.
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