There are three questions The Exploration Group always asks when talking with someone about a potential Expedition. They are:
1. Do you have a mission-critical idea for where your organization needs to go next?
2. Do you have the time, staff or expertise to bring that idea to life?
3. Do you have the "space" within your organization to test that idea?
Based on their answers we know if someone is a Commissioner. A Commissioner is always dreaming. They are thinking beyond what is, to what could be. They see what is not there...now. They take risks. Not the crazy pie-in-the-sky schemes. They take on the ideas they have pondered and considered; sometimes the pondering and considering has been going on for years.
When The Exploration Group began working with one of our early Commissioners he said he had three ideas. He explained them in detail then said, "I have been thinking about these for five years but haven't had the time or the staff to bring them to life." Within three months The Exploration Group determined that one of the Commissioner's three ideas, while having merit, was not structurally viable, but with ingenuity the group was able to bring the Commissioner's concept to life via a different mechanism, and within one year his other two ideas were operational and had brought new dimension to his organization.
Another observation we've made on Commissioners--they are willing to work beyond themselves. They recognize they can't do it all. They need an "expedition" of explorers that will go where they cannot go alone.
Over time we have talked with all kinds of people with great ideas. The ones who accomplish the most recognize they need others. One of the best Commissioners we have worked with was also one of the most capable. She was smart and thoughtful; a real person of vision. When the expedition started she said, "I buy other people's insight. It is important to learn from others who know more than I do."