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End-point visioning a better Winnipeg

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The end point vision (EPV) system is perhaps most succinctly described as purposeful goal-setting using enhanced visualization and mapping techniques to achieve desired outcomes. Admittedly, it’s an oversimplified definition that would benefit from a more elaborate explanation, but the essential point is this: identifying your EPV, and carefully mapping the critical actions along the path that will help you visualize and realize a positive result, offers a proven methodology for attaining your most coveted aspirations. Whatever area of life you choose to actualize like this—self, work, family, friends, community, etc.—adopting an EPV approach can clarify your vision in a way that makes it far more accessible even before taking that first step.

This kind of thinking isn’t new. Anthropologists argue that similar visualization techniques have quite literally been around since the dawn of civilization; but that’s precisely what makes this system so compelling. Thankfully, unearthing evidence of EPV successes doesn’t necessitate going back thousands of years to a place and time foreign to modern-day prairie dwellers like us. Instead, we can find proof of EPV’s efficacy right here in Winnipeg’s present. Consider some of our city’s most prominent citizens, and the goals they’ve envisioned and achieved in their lives, which have since served to enhance our community and move Winnipeg forward. Each of their stories is unique, but all of these leaders consciously applied the principles inherent in the EPV methodology to transform their visions into the realities we’re all experiencing today.

Paul Jordan, chief operating officer of The Forks Renewal Corporation, is a prime example of someone whose efforts have incorporated these advanced goal-setting techniques. Paul has long been one the most able advocates of Winnipeg’s deliberate transformation into an unrivalled ‘winter city.’ Visitors to The Forks—now numbering over four million annually—enthusiastically embrace this cool season as they engage in a plethora of activities and attractions available at one of Canada’s most celebrated leisure spots. Paul’s tireless work to create a place that showcases Winnipeg’s winter climate in all its glory has substantially altered the city’s landscape in a way that gives everyone who lives here something tangible to rally around. Due in large part to Paul’s commitment to achieving this formidable goal, our collective consciousness as proud Winnipeggers has been permanently elevated. And ask yourself this: without Mark Chipman, would Winnipeg again be home to an NHL team? As soon as the first incarnation of the Jets left town in 1996, Mark set about resurrecting an NHL franchise here. Every consequential hockey-related action he took up to the Jets’ return in 2011 was designed to make that moment happen. From the establishment of the Manitoba Moose in 1996 to the founding of True North Sports & Entertainment in 2001, and from the opening of MTS Centre in 2004 to the subsequent years-long courting of NHL executives, Mark’s patience and humility would eventually pay off on May 31, 2011, when he announced that the culmination of his 15-year odyssey had finally been fulfilled: Winnipeg would once more see an NHL team take to the ice and battle for hockey’s holy grail, the Stanley Cup.

More examples abound of leading Winnipeggers whose far-sighted end point visions have materially transformed our city in recent years. Without business magnate Israel ‘Izzy’ Asper, would Winnipeg now be home to the much-anticipated Canadian Museum for Human Rights? Without Arthur Mauro—lawyer, businessman and founder of the Centre for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba—would our city be as firmly fixed on the path toward social justice as we are today? And what would become of Winnipeg’s heralded philanthropic community if affluent humanitarians like Hartley Richardson, Lawrie Pollard, and John and Bonnie Buhler didn’t lead by example whilst encouraging others to follow in their wake?

All of these forward thinkers, in one way or another, tapped into the various strategies touted by EPV proponents. They painted a very clear picture of what they hoped to achieve, then set about turning that vision into a reality by taking the necessary steps toward that end, despite whatever obstacles were met along the way. And nobody experienced overnight success; in every case cited above, each goal was reached over the course of years (or even decades).

With local visionaries to both inspire and lead us, I encourage everyone to ask what we can do as Winnipeggers to improve ourselves and our city. Have you actually taken the time to write down your own goals, your own end point visions? Studies show that those who follow through with this simple exercise will accomplish more than those who do not. And have you mapped out the required steps to achieve these aspirations? Are these individual actions as specific as they can be? Can you do something today to start moving the needle on at least one of these goals? Not tomorrow. Not next week or next month. Today.

Winnipeg is a better place because some of our greatest leaders pushed through adversity to reach—and even go beyond—their end point visions. And thanks to their efforts, the world’s taking notice of Winnipeg on a level that harkens back to the days of our forefathers. Ultimately, one by one as individuals, then collectively as neighbourhoods, communities and finally as a city, I’m confident we can imagine and execute even greater milestones than those we’ve witnessed to date. If we can continue to harness our outstanding potential in this way, our best is yet to come.

Let’s keep the momentum going.


Marina R. James is president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.

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