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April and May Connect Benefit Theme - Visioning Activity #TransformingHE

Advance HE invites all stakeholders in the higher education community to participate in our visioning activity #TransformingHE which seeks to use images and metaphor as a way of visioning the transformation journey in our institutions at the moment. We will offer a reflection on this in early June with some resources to support further thinking in your institution. 


A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to becoming something more.”

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Organisations cannot ask the question “What does success look like?”, without offering the opportunity to uncover and draw together a rich picture of a vision in which everyone concerned can see themselves and wants to help realise.

It means truly consulting from student to board and taking time to listen. Leaders must find ways to create or find shared understanding about culture, identity and the organisations direction of travel in a way which unites. Some organisations use creative ways to do this, from imagery, metaphors, storyboarding, rich pictures, drama, poetry and music.

We request that you only seek to use publicly available images or ones which you have permission to use. In no circumstance shall Advance HE be liable towards you or any other person regarding an infringement of copyright due to the unauthorised usage of an image in this process. To access images which can be shared, you might like to try or


Before you click the link below, imagine your organisation’s transformation through the metaphor of a journey. Seek out an image to express what you see in answer to these questions, if you are short on time you can just pick one or two questions::

Imagine your ideal future organisation…

  1. What does the destination look like?
  2. How do we want to get there?
  3. What is important to keep and take with us on the transformation journey?
  4. What do we need to leave behind?
  5. How would you feel if you were not part of this journey?

Once you have done this click on the relevant link to upload your images and please add up to three words to explain what your image is about. 

Lastly, if you want to take this a step further, please identify:

  • Someone in your organisation who is least likely to be asked these questions, and/or
  • Someone in your organisation who is critical to helping achieve your vision.

Send them the link and tell them why you are sending it, encouraging them to participate.

The visioning activity closes on 00:00 BST on 31 May.

Students, student representatives, student unions

Find out more and participate

Professional, support, admin and estates staff


Find out more and participate

If you do not see your specific role described here please select the group which you believe most represents your stakeholder group.

For leaders and managers of teams and organisations wishing to replicate this activity it is essential to know, before you start, how you will create integrity and authenticity by way of follow up. Ask yourself about:

  • The time needed to reflect before planning and action starts
  • The necessary conversations that will need to take place to enable agency across the organisation and bring the vision to life
  • The processes you might go through and the tools/frameworks you can use to unpick the visioning and co-create the future in a way which speaks to hearts and minds.  For example:


Positive – positive statements about what you want

Achievement – how will you know when you have achieved it (see, hear, feel)

Context – Where, when

Equation – Cost and benefits

Resources – not just money but expertise, capacity and capability


Strengths – positive statements about achievements and success

Opportunities – reframe the challenges and create positive opportunities

Aspirations – positive statements about what you want, where and when

Results – how will you know when you have achieved it (see, hear, feel, evidence)

Sustainability – not just money but expertise, capacity and capability, creating agency and maintaining momentum