We are well into the New Year and we know how fast time flies. Where do you want to be at the end of the year? Where do you want to be three, five, or ten years from now? Do you have a defined Vision?
"Would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here?" she asked.
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," was the reply.
"I don’t much care where," she said
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go."
–Alice in Wonderland
Where is your business going? Do you have a general idea or do you know without a doubt?
When we lack direction, it is usually because we lack Vision!
Vision sets our course, our direction. When our team knows the direction of the company, they are more motivated to work toward it as a team rather than different team members pulling in opposite directions because they interpret direction in their own way. Vision provides a clear road-map upon which to design our mission, our strategies, goals, initiatives, and our tactics.
When supported by values and principles, it can propel us quickly on our journey to success!
What is a vision statement? A vision defines the way an organization or enterprise will look in the future. [As differentiated from a mission statement which talks about the organization’s present.] Vision is a long-term view, sometimes describing the ideal of how the organization would like to be.
According to the experts, vision is:
- An over-riding idea of what the organization should be.
- A guiding statement that communicates Values and Principles that underlie all transactions.
- For employees, it gives direction about how they are expected to behave and inspires them to give their best. Their "North Star." Most people either don’t know their organization’s vision, don’t understand it, or feel so disconnected from it that they can’t explain how it relates to their day job.
- It shapes customers’ understanding of why they should work with the organization.
The folks at Sapphire Point Technical Consulting share this list of qualities for a corporate or organizational vision:
- Obvious – People shouldn’t have to think very hard to understand what it means
- Valuable – It must translate into something that is valuable to the customers
- Relatable – People must be able to relate the vision directly to what they do for the company
- Important – It must be clear why its matters if the vision is achieved
- Unique – A vision is something different, not a restatement of things others have already said or done
I say it should be short enough to fit on the back of a business card in a font that eyes over forty can read.
A sampling of company vision statements:
Anheuser-Busch: Through all our products, services and relationships, we will add to life’s enjoyment.
Steelcase Inc.: To understand the needs of users, facility managers, architects and designers, and dealers better than anyone else.
Amazon: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Draft your vision. You may want to get a couple of blank sheets of paper to jot down your ideas. If you are working in a group, post the ideas and then evaluate, combine, wordsmith and develop your final draft.
After your final draft is completed, take a couple of days or a week and think about it. Is it truly what you want it to say? Come back and brainstorm again and write your final vision. You may want to repeat this part until it feels rights. Remember, you will live with your vision for many years. It is what will drive your future. Be sure it is a future you want to go to.
If you need help, please let us know.