Several years ago, Friendship Valley Elementary School in Westminster, Maryland, was just a partially completed shell. The new building obviously lacked a physical core at that point, but the school lacked a spiritual core, too. The building had been assigned a principal but no staff members or students. As construction crews shaped the outward appearance of Friendship Valley, the principal, and eventually the staff, needed to create a vision for why Friendship Valley had been built and what the school would achieve once students walked through its doors.
Senge (1990) says that in its simplest form, a vision answers the question "What do we want to create?" (p. 206). He believes a vision generates a sense of commonality that permeates the organization. Wheatley (1992) describes a vision as organizational clarity about purpose and direction. Where would Friendship Valley finds its clarity, purpose, and direction?