The secret to processes for discovery or mastery is to avoid straight line thinking. There are two important times when making a "b-line" for something will hinder you. I use both of these diagrams frequently when I navigate the Vision Pathway. 

The first diagram I use is called the "clarity spiral." I use it when for any visioning process to illustrate an important truth of process: In discovery, vital movement at the beginning of the process will feel indirect and therefore slow. This indirect movement includes steps of preparation, orientation, and perspective development. But with each process step, like a 4 hour collaborative meeting, the movement toward the center speeds up. The first two meetings take you only slightly close to point B, but in the last two meetings you can zip around pretty fast. I had one pastor validate the spiral by using the illustration of his kitchen renovation. He said it felt like his kitchen was a mess all of the time, until the end, when it all came together quickly. If you are leading a discovery processes, lead the journey and set expectations with the spiral . It will buy you the patience you need in the beginning. 

Like a discovery process, you also can't follow a straight line  in a mastery process.  This simple idea was drilled home in Set Godin's little book gem called The Dip. Here is the picture from the book. The premise is that you can't move directly, via straight line, from a basic state to a mastery state in any category. You actually have to go through a season or stage where greater effort yields less results. I call it the tunnel of chaos. It is critical to anticipate this stage to know when enduring the dip is worth it or a waste of time. Any good coach appreciates the dip and the role of encouragement, support and direction to guide someone through it.

Where can you use these drawings this week, or this month in your leadership?
Topics: Date: Apr 15, 2010 Tags: clarity spiral / coaching / personal development / Process / strategy / the dip / vision planning