Your business vision statement is a clear, concise verbal description of the ideal state of your business in 5 to 10 years. It boldly declares where your business is going. It is written in the present tense as if it has already occurred. It is a lofty perfect state that is never quite achievable, yet guides you and your team to make decisions, take actions and continuously move forward and continuously improve. Most companies limit their vision statement to 1 – 3 dynamic sentences.
Many people are confused on this topic … what is a vision statement? What is a mission statement? What’s the difference? A mission statement tells why a business exists and was started, what their products and services are and for whom, what’s unique, special and different about the company and how they will achieve their big hairy audacious goals. A vision statement is the ideal state of the company in the future, written in the present tense. It is a big inspirational and meaningful dream with the core business values woven in.
Take your time. Pay attention to the details. Involve your team. Remember that if the process takes longer, it will most likely last longer and be more powerful and effective for you and your business team.
You may want to have a series of meetings (or schedule time blocks if you’re a sole proprietor). This allows the team to process and “sleep on it” to bring more insights to the table.
Start with your core values. Think back to key events or milestones in the conception and growth of the company. Consider your ideal target market and what problems you will solve for them or what opportunities you can maximize for them with your products and services. In 5 to 10 years, what is your ideal team? How will the company be run? What does ultimate success look like? How will it feel to you and your team to be in optimal alignment with your value statement and performing at peak potential? Think about your location, environment, profits, size of your team, company benefits, how employees are treated and supported and how the community and your clients view the company.
Use as many senses as possible in your initial draft to create a verbal sensual mental “artificial environment”. You can use all 6 senses: smell, taste, sound, touch, sight, feelings. This may sound strange, but imagine an incredible company cafeteria as an example. What music is playing? What can you smell, see, feel, taste? Now add some heart, passion and excitement to your sentences with zesty adjectives and adverbs.
It’s fine to have a long vision statement draft at this point and then narrow it down and wordsmith it to 1-3 sentences (see examples below). Be sure to review your words and remove or change any “waffle words”. Words like “should”, “try”, “strive to”, “intend to” and “could” suck power from your vision statement’s mojo.
After your vision statement is written and posted visibly for all to see, ask your team these questions: Where are we aligned with our vision? Where are we not aligned? What do we need to do to move closer to our vision? How do we make sure we don’t compromise our values or vision as we grow?
“Our [Amazon‘s] 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.”
“to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.” – Tesla
“To make people happy” – Disney
“Harvard College will set the standard for residential liberal arts and sciences education in the twenty-first century. We are committed to creating and sustaining the conditions that enable all Harvard College students to experience an unparalleled educational journey that is intellectually, socially, and personally transformative.”
Now you know the answer to the question “What is a Vision Statement”. I hope you found this article enjoyable and very helpful.