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2. Visioning - Overview

The second phase of MAPP, Visioning, guides the community through a collaborative and creative process that leads to a shared community vision and common values.

Vision and values statements provide focus, purpose, and direction to the MAPP process so that participants collectively achieve a shared vision of the future. A shared community vision provides an overarching goal for the community—a statement of what the ideal future looks like. Values are the fundamental principles and beliefs that guide a community-driven planning process.

Because visioning is done at the beginning of the MAPP process, it offers a useful mechanism for convening the community and building enthusiasm for the process, setting the stage for planning, and providing a common framework throughout subsequent phases.

How to Conduct the Visioning Phase

Step 1: Identify other visioning efforts and make connections as needed.
The MAPP Committee should revisit the inventory of other community initiatives to see whether visioning efforts have taken place. It is a good idea to review other community efforts to ensure that no similar efforts have emerged since the Organize for Success Phase occurred. If a similar visioning process is in progress or has been completed, try to link it with the MAPP process.

Step 2: Design the visioning process and select a facilitator.
Visioning can be conducted through either of the following approaches:

  • Community visioning: A broad-based process with 40 to 100 participants. Community visioning is useful for engaging and mobilizing the broader community, but can be more challenging to manage and may require more resources to implement.
  • Advisory committee/key leadership visioning: Participants include members of the MAPP Committee, as well as other key leaders in the community. This type of visioning process may be easier to manage and requires fewer resources, but will not include the ideal level of broad involvement.

Once an approach is selected, a small group is charged with preparing the visioning sessions, identifying and working with the facilitator, recording the results of the sessions, and drafting the resulting vision and values statements.

Step 3: Conduct the visioning process.
Visioning sessions are conducted using the method described on the MAPP Web site or another approach. As the process is implemented, it is important to ensure that a broad range of participants are included in the effort. Both a shared vision and common values should be identified through brainstorming and open discussions.

Step 4: Formulate vision and values statements.
Next, a small group formulates the vision and values statements based on the outcomes of the visioning session(s). The vision statement should be strong and powerful and represent the ideal future outlined during the visioning process. The values statement should emphasize a positive climate and supportive behaviors that contribute to achieving the vision.

Step 5: Keep the vision and values alive throughout the MAPP process.
As the community moves through the MAPP process, it is important to ensure that the vision statement continues to drive the MAPP effort. Suggested ways to keep the vision and values alive include reading the statements at meetings or including them on informational materials. Both statements may be refined as the community progresses through the planning process.

Sample questions for brainstorming a shared vision:
  1. What does a healthy [Name] County mean to you?
  1. What are the important characteristics of a healthy community for all who live, work, and play here?
  1. How do you envision the local public health system in the next five or 10 years?

Sample questions for brainstorming common values:
  1. Taking into consideration the vision that has been developed, what key behaviors will be required from the local public health system partners, the community, and others in the next five to 10 years to realize the vision?
  1. What type of working environment or climate will be necessary to support these behaviors and achieve the vision?

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