Guide To Vision Statements
Updated June 30, 2022
Creating a vision statement for an organization can help identify its goals and objectives. A vision statement can help a company provide direction and purpose for its employees while focusing on its goals and initiatives. When creating a vision statement, it is beneficial to consider the short-term and long-term goals of the company to make sure the statement reflects those. In this article, we will discuss vision statements and provide tips to create one.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is a clearly defined declaration of the objectives of an organization. It often describes what the company plans to achieve and what it might look like in the future. When executing business strategies at all levels, organizations need to be able to set a clear direction for all members of the team. Creating a detailed and informative vision statement allows all team members of a business to understand the direction and how their contributions impact the end goals.
An effective vision statement should focus on the future and emphasize the goals of the company overall, as well as provide inspiration and motivation to those who read it. It should reflect the core values and the company culture to describe the reason the business exists and its plans to continue to provide service to its target audience. The statement should also focus on how the organization will grow and transition, rather than what it specifically offers to its clients.
To be effective, a vision statement should be relevant, clear, challenging, realistic, concise and motivational. As a company grows or shifts its focus over a period of time, the vision may change slightly, resulting in the need to revise the vision statement. The main idea of the vision statement usually remains consistent, with some minor adjustments made to adapt for business growth, acquisitions and other shifts.
How is a vision statement different from a mission statement?
A vision statement differs from a mission statement in that a mission statement is meant to define the company and its approach to reaching business objectives. A vision statement outlines the goals of the organization and its vision for the future, while a mission statement discusses what a company plans to do in the current timeframe. Mission statements also may concentrate on the critical processes that apply to customers, as well as how the business will serve the needs of its clients.
Vision statements describe where the company plans to go, while mission statements describe how the organization will get to that point by defining the primary objectives, purpose and operations. A mission statement often emphasizes what makes a specific organization different from its competitors, listing the broad goals and prime functions.
When used internally, a vision statement provides an outline for the plan of the company and how it will function in the future, giving employees a sense of what they need to contribute to achieve the goals. A mission statement gives more insight into what employees are responsible for when working with customers and handling tasks that pertain to the daily operations of the business. Vision statements also encourage employees to work more productively by identifying common goals, guiding decision-making and helping to establish a framework for ethical and acceptable behavior.
Externally, both mission and vision statements can create better communication with individuals and companies that the company interacts with, serve as public relations tools and enlist support from outside entities.
Related: Q&A: Why Leadership Is Important in Organizations?
How to create a vision statement
When creating a vision statement, it is helpful to follow a few steps to make sure you incorporate the most important aspects of the organization and its vision for the future.
1. Identify the vision
The first step in creating an effective vision statement is determining the goal of the company for the future. If your organization offers healthcare services to an underserved community, its vision may be to provide a certain number of exams or vaccines to clients. If a company provides software, its vision could be to deliver the resource to a percentage of businesses or individuals within the target demographic. Identifying the vision will make it easier to craft a clear, concise statement.
2. Request feedback
The members of your organization can help in identifying the vision and describing what motivates and inspires them to work in their roles. Seeking input from other team members can help you get a better idea of what to include in the vision statement.
3. Decide how you will use the statement
If your company's vision statement will only be used internally, its purpose should be to inspire and motivate employees to reach company goals. When used externally, the vision statement may outline how the goal of the company will benefit its clients.
4. Assess the mission, goals and values
When creating a vision statement, you may also be involved in creating other statements for the business, including the mission statement, values and overall goals. Assess what you plan to include in the other components of the overall strategy and incorporate those into your vision statement.
5. Look at examples
Review the vision statements of other companies in similar industries to yours for inspiration. By reviewing competing vision statements, you can also use the information to outline what differentiates your organization from others.
6. Ask questions
As you determine the vision of the organization, you can ask several questions that will help you shape your statement. These include the impact you want your organization to have on the industry and audience and how it will interact with clients.
Tips for creating a vision statement
When drafting your vision statement, follow these tips to make sure it is concise, clear and inspirational to those who read it.
Project the next five to 10 years in the future rather than going too far or limiting the scope too much. Going too far in the future can make the vision feel vague, while limiting the scope may make it more challenging to identify long-term goals.
Create a plan for communicating the vision statement to employees. Doing so will help ensure that all team members can read the statement and understand the vision of the company for which they work.
Use clear, concise language. If your industry has any confusing jargon or phrases, try to avoid these to make sure that anyone reading it would understand your company's objective.
Vision statement examples
Your organization's vision statement will depend on the industry it is in and its goals and objectives. Reviewing some examples can help you craft a statement that provides the details you want to share about the vision.
Restaurant: To provide high-quality and nutritious food options to members of the community we serve, while donating one meal per meal sold.
Nature conservation organization: Connecting people to global nature conservation, inspiring support.
Legal services organization: Working to change laws and regulations to further better our society.
Health care organization: Delivering leading clinical outcomes, patient experiences and health education.
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