J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Inspire a Vision with Skill

Inspire a Vision with Skill

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One of the most important skills of an effective Program Manager is to inspire a vision.  If you can’t paint a story of a better future, then all bets are off.

Change is tough enough.  People need a good reason.  They need to see a better future in their mind’s-eye.   They need to believe in the challenge and the change.  The cause has to make sense.   And, it needs to inspire.

Sure you can throw facts and figures at people.   For some, this is cause enough or inspiring enough.  For most people, it’s not.   They need something that they can latch on to with their minds and their hearts.  In fact, if you win the heart, the mind follows.

I’ve put together my thoughts on How To Inspire a Vision, based on what I’ve learned as a Program Manager at Microsoft.   Metaphors, stories, and pictures are all powerful ways.   That said, you really need to step into the future and walk various aspects to pressure test your vision, and make it real.  Not just for yourself, but for your various stakeholders and for their various concerns, which will range from innovation to market position to financial impact to insider perception, etc.

If you have a proven practice for articulating your vision in a way that works, I’d love to hear about it.

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