I am a practical person. I think of myself as relentlessly realistic. I want to create change in the world, not visions in my head. I am constantly amazed, but increasingly convinced, that visioning is a tool for producing results. Olympic athletes use vision to make the difference between the superior performance their trained bodies can achieve and the outstanding performance their inspired vision can achieve. Corporate executives take formal classes in vision. All great leaders have been visionaries. Even the scientific, systems-analyst side of me has to admit that we can hardly achieve a desirable, sustainable world, if we can’t even picture what it will be like.
— Donella Meadows, “The Importance of Visioning, the Practice of Visioning,” reprinted in The Balaton Bulletin, Winter 1999