A Driving Vision

Most businesses develop mission and vision statements to support their corporate endeavors. However, too often the business vision is stuck on a plaque, on the wall and forgotten. Whereas a true vision can provide many opportunities for growth within a company and can provide a driving focus through tough times. The purpose of the vision is to keep the leadership, employees and company on track through success and failure. The benefit of an effective vision, developed with care, referenced consistently and changed rarely provides the bedrock by which many long-standing companies can base their success on.

Benefits of Vision

The right vision can propel a company along its trajectory to success through short-term economic free-fall and enable it to take advantage of long-term initiatives. The right vision provides an overall strategic focus in order to set priorities and guide planning even when times get tough. The vision employed by the company’s leadership will empower employees and give them focus and drive, even when the company enters hard times.

By consistently providing a central rallying point for employees by empowering their drive, ambition and loyalty it can often lead the charge of a company out of a revenue slide and stave off failure. Not all corporate visions are created equal which is evident in recessions and the mettle of employees and leadership will be strained if there is no central driving force like vision. By understanding the core values and beliefs of the company and getting employee buy-in for a properly developed business vision, a business can generally withstand short-term economic misfortunes.

Clarifying Vision

Where there is no clear deliberate vision in a corporation, employees are not reinforced with the core beliefs, but presented with a bland overarching statement that tries to please everyone yet motivates no one. A properly designed vision needs to be looking to the future and is directional. An effective vision should use clear language, relevant to the corporate culture and values based on the organization’s leadership.

A great vision does not just state “we need to beat the competition”, but provides the underlying core values of why employees, customers and the world should believe in your brand. It should be a purpose driven statement that challenges employees and the leadership to reach for greatness. It needs to be unique and inspiring yet also deeply personal to provide a connection in order to motivate and lead the way. Consider these vision statements as examples of great statements and craft one that suits your business.

The Walt Disney Company – “To make people happy.”

3M – “3M technology advancing every company. 3M products enhancing every home. 3M innovation improving every life.”

It is important not to confuse the use of mission statements versus vision statements. The vision statement sets out a path for the future with an inspiring purpose to reach the stated end goal. The mission statement on the other hand, defines how to reach the goals set out in the vision by following the values also laid down in the business vision. Make your vision statement out to be a driving force to propel your employees and organization forward with an overall ideal or principle.

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