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Leadership

Pioneering Wall-less Impact through Ruthless Innovation

March 10, 2017 — by Sam Song

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Visioneering Studios is no stranger to transition. In fact, we believe change is necessary to make room for growth and innovation as an organization. Recently, we’ve been on a transformative journey of refining and clarifying our Vision, Mission and Values in order to better serve our partners and narrow our focus on doing what we do best.

ruthless innovation

We were honored to have our friends at Auxano come alongside us on this journey to develop an inner compass for our Visioneering team that included five core values. As Christ-followers and as Visioneers, one of the things we aim to be in our work is transparent. Transparency builds trust, and it’s a goal of ours to be trusted stewards of story and space in all of our partnerships.

In that spirit of transparency, we’d like to share the heart behind one of the five core values we are committed to at Visioneering Studios:

 

Pioneering Wall-less Impact through Ruthless Innovation

Let’s break that down.

Pioneering >>> At its core, “Vision” points to an unfamiliar, uncharted territory. If it didn’t, it would just be current reality. Vision calls us to move beyond current circumstances into the unknown, the unseen. We often don’t know what to expect or what we will need, but we must find the courage to step forth.

Wall-less Impact >>> We strive to create environments where transformation for good can take place, but that doesn’t always exist within four walls. We want the spaces we create to have an impact that exists within, in-between and beyond — one that cannot be contained within the walls of a building.

Ruthless >>> We are not romantic with the way things “used to be.” We believe what got us here will not always get us there. We honor our past, but we know how to let go of the way it’s been, in order to grab a hold of what needs to be.

Innovation >>> We are not interested in just upgrading or iterating our processes. We believe that every space has a story to tell, and every story deserves unique attention. We create new solutions required to respond to new challenges and disruptions that confront us, every day.

 

Below is a talk by Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp, shared at the 99U conference about “Creative Destruction.” Basecamp was birthed out of this “Creative Destruction” habit and now serves over 100,000+ paying customers. What started as a Web Design company has now transformed into a successful software company. Take a look at how this core value of “Pioneering through Ruthless Innovation” can be worked out:

As we keep moving forward through our transformative journey, we want to continue to share what we’re learning and how we’re establishing our values with you, our partners. And we’d love to hear the same from you, as well. What important lessons are you learning about your team as your organization grows? What do you value most in the work that you do? How are you implementing those values into your partnerships? Comment below.

 

Leadership

Four Seasons of the Journey

February 3, 2017 — by Sam Song

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This Four Seasons framework serves as a map for those who dare to follow their transformative journeys.

four seasons

Life is a collection of transformative journeys.

When I reflect on my own transformative journeys, I notice that there is a seasonality to each one. From personal endeavors to entrepreneurial ventures, each journey could fall under what I call “The Four Seasons.” Inspired by Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, I created “The Four Seasons” framework to serve as a trail map for myself and others who are daring to answer their calls to adventure, or their journeys of transformation.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to serve as a guide for a number of artists, non-profit leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and others through these Four Seasons. Through this framework, we bring clarity, enable courage, develop grit, and instill the generosity needed for their journey ahead. Each season, as shown below, is marked by a question to help move you through the cycle realizing, answering, and returning to your calling.  Let’s take a deeper look.

four seasons

WINTER: The Call

The transformative journey begins here in the world of the ordinary, the status quo. Then, in a single moment, you are disrupted by a call. This call might be an idea that illuminates new possibilities, or an experience that stirs the heart’s desire for change, or a still, small voice calling you forth. Sometimes, this call is born out of tragedy, loss, or a void. Regardless of its nature, the call will not go away. It will continue to gnaw at you until you stop what you are doing and give it the attention it requires of you.

As you explore this call, you arrive at the threshold from the old to the new. You may choose to step forth, but sometimes you are pushed across.

THE QUESTION: Will you answer the call?
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SPRING: The Crisis

You step into this new and extraordinary world. Yet quickly, your anticipation and excitement are attacked by what Steven Pressfield calls, “The Resistance.” The Resistance is very strategic — It knows that we are our own worst enemy, so it attacks our identity. The Resistance is also brutally efficient. It simply sparks the fuel of doubt and allows our own voices to tend the fire of insecurity and uncertainty.

“Who do I think I am?”
“Am I an imposter? What if they find out?”
“Am I a leader? A creative? Qualified? Smart? Beautiful? Charismatic?”
“Why me?”

This is when we rise up to the challenge. We clear the clutter and remove the noise. We choose to become the person we need to be.

THE QUESTION: “Am I?”
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SUMMER: The Craft

In this season, you step into the “cave.” This is when the work intensifies and confidence grows. With each step deeper into this cave, you begin to identify the capabilities necessary to continue on this journey.

The mystery and uncertainty of the cave darkens your vision and path, so you learn to navigate, climb, and travel in darkness. With each step, your understanding of the nuances deepens. You read books, listen to podcasts, find a mentor, and attend trainings. You learn to innovate, inspire, write, lead, and build. And you discover that the best learning comes from trying. You add to your toolbox of skills.

However, the backpack you carry is preventing you to navigate through the narrows, so you meticulously remove the items that are not essential. You say “no” to unnecessary things in order to say “yes” to the journey.

THE QUESTION: “What are the capabilities and capacity I need?”
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FALL: The Return

You battled your way through the cave. You may have slain a dragon or barely survived. You started a movement, wrote your first book, led a team through a project, became debt free, or maybe you discovered what not to do. Regardless of the situation, you discovered that the treasure is not the outcome. The true treasure is your transformation. You leveled up.

With a renewed strength of identity, capabilities, and capacities, you are a new you. You can now give this gift to the world. You bring a greater presence and value to every relationship, service and community. You deepen the meaning you bring to the work you, instead of extracting meaning from the work. Your ordinary world is transformed. It is now the new status quo, until you are disrupted once again by a call to another adventure.

THE QUESTION: “Now what?

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“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself,
and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and
I could indeed have changed the world.
– unknown monk”