In a previous blog, I described what a company vision statement is and how powerful vision statements can be used as a guide to help the organization make decisions that align with its philosophy and set of goals.
A powerful vision statement can help set your company apart from others. This is important as competition is fierce and within any type of sector, there will be many companies trying to do the same things. Of course, while profitability is the goal of all for-profit companies, a strong vision statement can ensure that a company has a differentiated agenda and that it stays the course. The same can be said for non-profits.
A powerful vision statement has the following characteristics:
- It is concise: A vision statement is not the place to get overly prolix, loquacious, or verbose (see what I’m getting at). The KISS rule should be followed: Keep It Short and Simple and stay away from meaningless jargon that needs a dictionary.
- It is clear: For clarity’s sake, focusing on one primary objective is a good rule to follow. By trying to focus on too many things at the same time, you risk focusing on nothing. One clear goal is more than enough.
- It is future-oriented: A vision is something that you go towards (in time). Therefore, by definition, vision statements should be about a future objective that the company wants to achieve or a future world the company wants to be a part of.
- It is challenging: This doesn’t mean that your vision statement should be a pie in the sky. However, you also want it to be something that the company can aspire to. As they say: “If you shoot for the stars and miss, you'll at least hit the moon”.
- It is inspiring: Create a vision statement that has a wow factor. You want something that will rally the troops and help them feel they are part of something that is greater than just a paycheck. A strong vision statement is one that is meaningful for those involved in building your organization.
Examples of Powerful Vision Statements:
- Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Teach for America: One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
- Alzheimer's Association: A world without Alzheimer's disease.
- Microsoft (when it first started): A computer on every desk and in every home.
- Nike (in 1960s): Crush Adidas.
About the Author
Mr. Mohammed Nayal is a Partner with Meirc Training & Consulting. He holds a bachelor of science degree in systems and control engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a master of science in engineering economic systems from Stanford University, and a master in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley, all in the USA. In addition, Mohammed is a certified training practitioner (CTP) from the Institute of Performance and Learning, Canada.