Vision Statements. These things tend to get a bad rap. They’re often considered to be vague declarations by businesses with nothing substantial to back them up or hold them accountable. But a great Vision Statement can do a lot for you and your aspirations. So, let’s establish what a good Vision Statement is, how to create one and how to use one.
A Vision Statement can be defined as “an affirmation defining a clear and inspiring direction for your future”. It’s ultimately why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Why do I need a Vision Statement?
A Vision Statement makes you declare your ambitions and what you want your future to be. You can’t work passionately towards something unless you know what it is. It’s essentially the lighthouse that guides your way the entire journey. Not having a Vision can lead to a lack of planning and forethought, being unprepared, and engaging in unnecessary activity wastes time and money. You become inefficient.
How do I create a Vision Statement?
Firstly, acknowledge that a Vision is different to a Goal.
“VISION IS THE ART OF SEEING WHAT IS INVISIBLE TO OTHERS” – Jonathan Swift
It’s actually the first step in goal setting. A Vision uses foresight for an eventual outcome. A Goal concentrates on a very specific result aligned to that Vision.
When it comes to establishing your Vision – don’t set any limits! As the Spice Girls asked…“tell me what you want, what you REALLY, REALLY want”. Get creative! It should be future focused, specific and purpose-driven.
A Vision is generally one or two sentences long and can be interpreted as your “WHAT” – the foundation and purpose of all your future activity. It states the “big picture” scenario and works best when it’s short, clear and powerful.
Things to consider when setting your Vision
- What role do you personally play in your Vision?
- Does it incorporate an organisation or industry?
- Is it defined by clients, customers, services or product offerings?
- Who are the stakeholders – employees, service providers, peers, managers?
- What defines the realisation or achievement of your Vision, e.g. positive impact on others?
Here are some examples of both personal and company Vision Statements are:
- Harley Davidson: “To fulfil dreams through the experiences of motorcycling.”
- Disney “To make people happy.”
- Netflix “Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience.”
- Richard Branson – “To have fun in (my) journey through life and learn from (my) mistakes.”
As you can see, your Vision Statement is YOURS and it can be as unique and serious or fun as you want and need it to be.
Now you’ve got your Vision Statement, what do you do with it?
Your Vision Statement isn’t supposed to be written once on a whiteboard during a staff conference, then erased and forgotten about. You need to declare it to the world and every one of your stakeholders.
It’s the foundation of everything else you do. You now use it to create your Mission Statement.
Always keep sight of your Vision. It’s the reason you started and why you keep going.
Remember though; your Vision Statement can change if you need it to. Businesses, people and markets change constantly. Your Vision should always remain relevant and be aligned to your ultimate success.
If you want help creating a vision for your business get in touch.