A couple of years ago I was doing a training course for emerging leaders, and was in the session talking about how you capture and share a vision. To illustrate how a vision gets picked up by a group or organisation, the person leading the session drew a picture of a train.
In this train, the driver in the engine has the vision, but unless it makes it all the way to the passengers in the last carriage, then the carriages are going to decouple and it’ll all come off the tracks, with the engine steaming merrily on alone, but utterly useless as a train. The illustration wasn’t about first-class, second-class, third-class passengers and so on, it was about where people feel comfortable in terms of being close to the engine or a part of the train, about how they feel about leading, from, ‘Yes, I want to and see my ideas,’ to, ‘Not really my thing’, and how they feel about change, from ‘Yay, let’s drive the engine’ to ‘Erm, I’m not really sure about this, I’ll just hang out back here in this carriage.’
I worked out that I generally live in carriage number two, probably near the back of the carriage. I mean, I have ideas and stuff, but I’m not really Little Miss Visionary. Mostly, I don’t really want to be – it looks exhausting. I have other things I do. On the vision train, I’m probably the person who runs up and down from the engine to further back down the train while the driver is busy, talking to people about the thing and, probably organising them tidily.
I have ideas about ideas, and about what to do with them, but I am by inclination a thinky-talky-connecty person. On my own, then, all this stuff just stays in my head, or hangs in the atmosphere as just so much hot air. Yes, it influences how I behave in my own small ways, my voting, my shopping, how I treat other people – but it’s not going to have a big impact beyond that. What I’m saying is, I need to have other people to play with to make things happen.
That’s not only because other people are do-ers in a more dramatic and impactful way than me – though they are and some of them are even not shy about talking to people they don’t know without the internet as a barrier. It’s also because I’m more likely to do stuff if the people around me are doing it. You know, peer pressure. But in this case the good kind.
This case is Mosaic – an event I’m involved in coordinating with work, and on which I get to work with some very great people. Mosaic is a one-day event, taking place on 21 June 2014, that will bring together people who are passionate about pursuing justice in God’s world. It’s going to combine inspiration and ideas from experienced justice-seekers and experts with the chance to explore practical ways and opportunities to challenge the injustices we face in our daily lives. At the heart of the day will be three breakout sessions, which will create an open space for you to collaborate with each other and with experts to shape a response to some specific issues and develop a plan to live this out. If that sounds like your sort of thing, then you should come along. I’m gonna get Kiera to tell you why: