The Story of Visioning at Zingerman’s: Four Visions, Forty Years, and a Positive Look Towards the Future


Ari shares:

Early in the 20th century, Rudolph Steiner—educator, philosopher, and the founder of biodynamics—said, “We tell our story until it tells us.” What follows is just that; it’s me, the co-founding partner of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, telling the story of our organization. At the same time, it’s me trying to get out of the way to let our organizational story speak for itself. 

If you already know our work with visioning here at Zingerman’s, I hope the new thoughts and learnings included here will add additional insight and understanding to the conversations that have come before it. If, on the other hand, this is your first encounter with the Zingerman’s ecosystem, then I’m hopeful that this pamphlet will serve as a meaningful introduction to the idea of visioning. Some of what you’ll find in the pamphlet are:

  • A vision I drafted for this pamphlet.
  • A new essay that tells the story of how we came to learn about, and then use, visioning here at Zingerman’s.
  • The story of the rollout of our new Zingerman’s 2032 vision—how it happened, why it matters, and more. 
  • New understandings of what we might well want to include in a vision for a sustainable organization. 
  • The complete versions of all four of our long-term Zingerman’s visions.