The Vision Statement is probably one of the most butchered statements in corporate. Most times they are too long, too vague, and simply unclear. The reason is that executives have no idea why they need a Vision Statement – other than everyone else has one – or what to do with one after they have it – other than to put in on a plaque.
Let’s clear up the confusion and develop a vision statement that works… that really works.
What is a Vision Statement
A Vision Statement is a single statement that states where you see your company in the future. Most times you want to create one that grows with you. However, it is a vision statement – not marriage. You can have one for 5 years and then, based on where you are, write a new one.
Why Do You Need a Vision Statement
A Vision Statement is used to guide your decisions for your organization. When used correctly it will force you to have tunnel vision for the future rather than blurry and scattered vision. The cool thing is that you can have an overall Vision Statement and then allow each of your departments have their own.
What a Good Vision Statement Looks Like
A good Vision Statement is a single statement. It identifies where you want to be. It can grow with you. It is easy to remember. It is NOT vague and contains a guiding principal or two.
Usually they start with words like: To be, or To provide, or To (some action).
Deconstructing and Using a Great Vision Statement
When my husband, James, became the Director of Information Technology for the US District Courts in South Florida he hired the best leadership consultant in the world (at least that is what I wrote about myself in our contract).
The first thing we did was work on his vision statement which is:
To be the benchmark technology team in the US District Courts that consistently sets and exceeds the bar for innovation and excellence in service.
Then we ensured that it met the goals:
- Single statement that connects to the future.
The statement is direct and goal oriented. It looks to the future while stating what has to be done today to reach it.
- Grows with the Organization
As they set a benchmark they work to exceed it; which means they have set the benchmark again. This never ending cycle makes this a near perfect Vision Statement.
- Cornerstone for action
Innovation and Service are the cornerstone of everything they do. This is critical because it constantly provides guidance to the team.
For example: When someone wanted to keep old technology that desperately needed to be streamlined, James asked a few questions:
Does the new technology meet our criteria for innovation? Does it save or earn money? Does it save time? Does it reduce work while providing a better experience? Will our customers be positively impacted?
All of these questions are based on his Vision Statement.
- The Vision Statement provides a consistent level of guidance to the team when making decisions.
They use the Vision Statement to make decisions. They only come to James when they need a tie-breaker.
A Template For You to Use
To be the <what is the ultimate that you want your organization to be>
*in the <who are your competitors or your industry or your parent organization>
that <what is the ultimate and specific action that you want to achieve on a consistent basis>
*Note: The second part of the statement is optional. You don’t have to define the market if you don’t want to.
Let’s cut to the chase. Dawnna is a breakthrough business author and rockstar keynote speaker. She works with organizations that want to harness the power of people in business. If you’d like her to deliver content like what’s in this article or you just want to see her do this … then give her a shout.
HARNESS THE POWER OF PEOPLE– Great Work Deserves To Get Noticed
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PERSONAL BRAND OF QUALITY– So Good that You’d Put Your Name On It