What is a vision statement?
Many business owners find themselves asking, “What is a vision statement?“.
It’s an important question because Vision statements and mission statements are often confused. Simply put, your vision is a guiding concept or powerful picture of what your organization is trying to do and become. It answers the question, “Where do we want to go?”, and focuses on the future, whereas your mission statement tends to be on the present.
Creating your vision is about developing clarity and purpose around the loftiest goals you have for your organization. It’s your aspiration about where you want to be in five to ten years’ time. Don’t worry how you will get there – that’s not for a vision to be concerned with. Saying that, achieving your vision may not be easy to achieve but at least you will have a direction for your hard work.
In summary, it creates a vivid image that provokes emotion and excitement. It creates enthusiasm and poses a challenge that inspires and engages people in the company.
The features of a vision statement
- A vision statement provides a picture of what your business will look like five to ten years from now. Therefore, it should have a time horizon
- It represents a dream that is beyond what you think is possible and takes you out of the present
- It clarifies the direction in which your organization needs to move
- It’s worded in a way that gives employees a larger sense of purpose so that they see themselves as “building a cathedral” rather than laying stones
Benefits of a vision statement
A well-worded, clear vision statement has real value. It helps:
- Convey an organizational purpose that inspires employee buy-in and commitment
- Provides a beacon that lower-level managers can use to form departmental missions, set departmental objectives, and craft strategies
- Guides managerial decision making
- Crystallizes senior executive’s own views about firm long-term direction and future
- Shapes the company’s strategy
- Impacts how the company is run
- Helps an organization prepare for the future
- Empowers people and focuses their efforts
- Focuses energy for greater effectiveness
- >Raises the standard of excellence
Communicating your vision statement
As a business owner, it’s very important to share your vision with your employees. If employees are really clear on what you are trying to achieve it will provide a sense of purpose and help them feel like they belong. In doing so, you are more likely to steer the course and they are more likely to stick with you on the journey.
With this in mind, make sure you communicate the vision in words that induce employee buy-in, build pride, and create a strong sense of organizational purpose.
When your vision has been created, don’t just file it away – make it a living document. Refer to it regularly, make sure employees know where to find it and include it in your employee handbook so that all future employees are on-board from the very beginning. By showing enthusiasm towards your vision and repeatedly sharing it, you help others embrace it too and solidify commitment. It’s like a snowball effect – as your draw people’s attention toward it, they will begin to share your goals.
Creating your vision statement
If you’re struggling to create a vision statement, here’s an exercise you can try that might help. Visualize walking into your business premises five or ten years from now and shaking hands with yourself. Who are you? What is your life like? What is your business like? Write down what you saw.
Don’t let yourself wonder in years to come how you got where you did. Clarify your vision so that you can grow into it.
And remember, vision statements don’t need to be elaborate long documents. Some of the best ones are the shortest. Take Walt Disney for example. He simply wanted to “Make People Happy“.
What’s your vision statement?
If you need help clarifying your vision statement or communicating it to your employees, Jouta can help. Contact us online or on 604 488 8885.