Lesson #2: Alignment to the Business
Consider your dreams. Consider how often those dreams are set aside because life get's busy or other priorities pop up. If, your like most people it happens all the time. In similar fashion, dreaming programs in organizations will tend to get set aside when the business gets busy or other priorities pop up. For that reason, it is really important that the dreaming program is structured in a way where it doesn't weigh to heavy, in terms of time, money and effort. It has to always be a seasoning and never the main dish. As a seasoning, it can endure when times get tough and the business hits crisis mode.
The way that we accomplished this at Infusionsoft was to pair the core elements of the dreaming program with the existing structure of the business. We did this at the one-on-one, team and company levels.
One-on-one: At Infusionsoft, each employee met with their leader for a weekly one-on-one meeting. As a part of our Dream Leader Certification program, we taught leaders how to incorporate the dreaming conversation comfortably into that weekly meeting. In which, for perhaps 2-5 minutes of their 30 minute meeting they would check in on dreams. For example, when I was working on my dream of building my "dream" home. My leader would often ask, "how is your house coming?" or "do you need any extra support as you are making progress on your house?" These simple check ins meant a lot to me and were able to exist even when we had a lot on our plate.
Team: Dreaming works best when team members know and are able to share their dreams with each other. As a result, creating a solid way to share dreaming updates with team members became a part of the dreaming program. The way each team leader created space for the these dreaming check-ins was customized for each team. For example, one team met for breakfast once a week to hear how everyone was progressing. Another team, our chat support, created a Slack conversation that would pop up once a week, asking everyone how their dream was coming. While a third group, would meet weekly for Thai food and dreaming. Each leader would find a low impact way of keeping the dreaming conversation alive. The key was to find something that was simple enough for leaders to maintain even when things weren't going well.
Company: Though for the most part the dreaming magic happened at the team level, as a company, we would also do simple things to help create a dreaming culture. We published dream successes on screens across the company, we hosted a dream wall for employees to write out their dream declarations and we had a space on our intranet where employees could request support on their dream.
Creating a simple, low impact program will assure long-term success while still giving plenty of opportunities for employees to feel supported in their dreams.
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A dreaming program needs a great culture, a culture of trust and accountability.
Dream Leader Certification
Involving frontline leaders in the dreaming program is crucial for success.
Kicking off the program is a key step to making a first good first impression.