Whether for-profit or not-for-profit, one thing that every organisation wants is success. However, for that to be achieved, you need to know what exactly success means to you and that begins with a vision statement.
What Is A Vision Statement?
A vision statement is an aspirational statement of an organisation’s future ideal and is a concrete way for everyone within the organisation to understand its ultimate purpose. More simply, it is an organisation’s north star.
The difference between a vision statement and a mission statement is that a vision statement focuses on the future and why a business exists whereas a mission statement focuses on the present and on what a business does, who it does it for and how it does it. Both are critical to success.
“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” ― Steve Jobs
The Power Of A Vision Statement
A vision statement functions as a lighthouse, orienting the behaviour of everyone within the organisation towards its future ideal. It sets the direction for planning and provides focus for the organisation’s marketing strategy, serving as an anchor for targeting the right customers.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying. A vision statement is what drives growth and promotes innovation and breakthrough ideas, vital for the sustainability of an organisation.
A vision statement also helps attract the best talent. In fact, research shows that employees who find their company’s vision meaningful have engagement levels of 68% compared to the average of 50%. Employees who are more engaged are more productive and more effective which ultimately determines whether a business succeeds or fails.
In yet another study, researchers found that brands with a high sense of purpose increased in value by 175% over a 12-year period — well above a comparable 86 percent median growth rate.
How To Create An Effective Vision Statement
An effective vision statement can set your organisation apart from everyone else. It must therefore speak directly to your employees. Only then will they make decisions and take actions that reflect your business’ vision.
Before designing your vision statement, you must get crystal clear on the future you want to create and what success looks like to you. Then when you’re ready to document your vision statement, you must ensure it is:
For example, Tesla’s vision statement is “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
However, creating a vision statement is not enough. You need to ensure that employees act on it. Highly successful organisations do this by flooding their environment with cues and signals of their future vision. They provide a simple message: This is where we’re going.
It is also important to remember that as your business evolves, so will your vision statement and therefore it should be viewed as a living document that will continuously be revisited and revised.
A vision statement is a written document that describes where an organisation is going and what it will look like when it gets there. It speaks to the organisation’s purpose and why it’s important for the organisation to exist.
A vision statement operates like a roadmap, guiding the organisation to make decisions that align with its philosophy and where it wants to be and ultimately it is a key component to success.