Every business with big dreams knows that having a powerful vision statement is a big deal. The problem is that not everyone knows what a vision statement really is, or how to craft one. With so many business terms to work around, it is easy to create something when what you intended is another.
So, what is a vision statement? We love how The Cascade puts it:
A vision statement is the anchor point of any strategic plan. It outlines what an organization would like to ultimately achieve and gives purpose to the existence of the organization.
In other words, it is the big picture, the long-term goals, expectations, and predictions that the business works towards. It is what keeps you focused and keeps the staff motivated. It doesn’t have to be a 10-page manifesto to achieve this. In fact, it is kept concise.
Part of the power of a vision statement is its ability to capture the future plans of a business in very short and simple words, free from fluff and jargon, and focused on what the business is about. Vision statements are not ambiguous. The meaning of each word is clear to anyone who reads it.
The Purpose Of A Vision Statement
So, if a vision statement is such a huge deal, what are the reasons why you should write one? Here are a few things a well-written vision statement can do for your business:
- A vision statement highlights the ultimate goal your business is aiming for. Every small win, every mini-goal, every checkpoint on the way is leading to and contributing towards the big vision highlighted in the vision statement.
- A vision statement serves as a powerful pitch when presenting what your business is trying to achieve to investors. It also makes for captivating discussion when engaging the press and media.
- A vision statement is a simple and memorable summary of your goals designed to inspire and motivate you and your staff while attracting valuable employees who immediately buy into the vision.
- A vision statement may also help you identify what fish to catch, so to speak, and what to ignore. You will find out that not everything fits into your vision statement. A functional vision statement helps you stay true to the vision, no matter how enticing the opportunity is.
- A vision statement sets a business apart from the competitors. Every business has profit as the end goal. What sets them apart is what they are willing to do to make the profit. Your powerful vision statement would do just that.
How To Write A Good Vision Statement
There are a few qualities that define a solid vision statement. Project Manager made a list of the most important of them. When these are combined with the best practices discussed by the team at Clear Point Strategy, they make for an awesome game plan:
Clear And Concise
A good vision statement is expected to cut to the chase, be simple and easily understandable. There is no fluff in a good vision statement. This conciseness makes it easier to commit to memory.
To make it even better, focus on just one primary goal. Vision statements are not meant to hold a bunch of nice ideas. One clear big goal is all a vision statement needs.
Inspiring And Challenging
Your one big goal shouldn’t be something you achieve very easily. It should be big enough to inspire and motivate the whole team. It should be desirable and worth looking forward to. Of course, always keep things realistic, so that you don’t get discouraged and discard the whole idea out of frustration.
Vision statements can be so inspiring when you ask deep questions about why the company is created. Ask why you are doing what you are doing and what you really want to achieve. There has to be a purpose. Now, fire that up with the goal of beating your competitors, and see your team leap up in action.
Remember that your vision statement is about the one big goal, not any project goal your business is working on at present, or something that can be achieved soon. Your vision statement is the declaration of your big goal.
To make this easier, envision the next 5 or 10 years, and see how your company is dominating the industry. What feat do you see your company achieving? What services would you be rendering? Who would you be serving?
By looking beyond here and now, you can be more educated about the long term vision you are working towards.
Time-Sensitive And Measurable
Big goals aren’t enough. There must be a deadline or fixed point in the future by which this goal should have been achieved. This is to make sure you aren’t just caught up in the idea of a huge goal without really acting on it. Of course, you have to be realistic about it too.
Besides the deadline, there should be a good metric to measure if you are on track and when you have reached your goal. This is important because it is easy to work towards something that never has a definite checkpoint. Visions can be expanded when achieved, and that is totally fine.
Abstract And Stable
Since your vision statement is future-oriented, you want to make sure that the vision is still valid, even in spite of any economic or technological change. Your vision shouldn’t be tied to specific events or trends.
Make the vision statement abstract and general enough to capture to essence of the goals and strategy without getting too much into techniques and getting affected by trends. Plans can change. Goals shouldn’t.
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