In this blog post we will cover:
A vision statement is a broad, inspiring image of the future state a business aspires to reach. It describes without specifying how aspirations will be achieved, or when. It is ambitious, and forward-thinking. It's not about where the organization is now, it's about what the organization will be, or aspires to be.
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A vision statement needs to:
If your business doesn't have a vision statement, it needs one. If it does, then this is a good opportunity to strengthen it or make sure it is aligned with the current dream you have for yourself and your company.
We're going to work through a step-by-step process in this E-Class that will help you hone in on what your vision is, and then put it into words.
You should note that a corporate vision statement - once created, agreed to and perfected - should remain consistent and unchanged for several years. When a vision statement is changed and revised, it is difficult to create a consistent plan that supports the achievement of the vision. In this case, now is a good time to revise your vision - right before embarking on a comprehensive marketing strategy.
But first, don't forget that your employees, joint ventures (companies you align yourself with - the most powerful marketing initiative on the planet is a Joint Venture) and your customers need to believe in the company's vision too.
Your employees need a strong, clear vision statement just as much as you do. When creating a vision statement, keep this in mind. The vision will need to be something that your employees can embrace and stand behind. A powerful vision statement that your employees can get excited about will motivate, inspire and build morale on the sales floor and in the office.
Think about how you will communicate your vision to your employees once you have created it. How can you inspire them to nurture and support your vision on a daily basis, in everything they do? How can you empower and motivate them to feel ownership of the company's future and their stake in it?
Take a look at these corporate vision statements so you can get a better understanding of what we're talking about.
Our 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.
Dell listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value.
eBay pioneers communities built on commerce, sustained by trust, and inspired by opportunity. eBay brings together millions of people every day on a local, national and international basis through an array of websites that focus on commerce, payments and communications.
Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Other Vision Statement Examples:
See what I mean? Let's start creating your unique vision statement.
1. Start by looking at your strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of everyone who does business with you.
You'll start with a bit of analysis on where you stand now. Use the chart as a guide, create your own on a pad of paper (ideally use this same pad for the entire time you are doing the E-Learning process) and fill in your company's unique strengths and weaknesses. Think about strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of customers, staff, management, vendors or suppliers and owners.
For example, what would your customers say about your customer service standards? Would this area be considered a strength or a weakness? What would your staff say about training and professional development opportunities? What do you think about your income and overall financial growth?
Product or service availability and quality
Quality of work environment
Vendors / Suppliers
Product or service quality
2. Analyze your observations, and remember that your weaknesses represent great opportunities for change and improvement, while your strengths need to be nurtured and developed.
Take a look at what you have written, using the chart above as your guide, and answer the following questions on your pad of paper:
Here you will take the strengths and opportunities you identified in step one, the analysis you completed in step two, and start describing them in words. Write three sentences that describe the future state of your business. I've included some samples to get you started.
To be a regional leader in customer service.
To inspire and develop our professionals.
To lead a generation of environmental responsibility.
Vendors / Suppliers
To offer only the highest quality sprockets.
To be a profitable and highly respected organization.
4. What opportunities and aspirations are the highest priorities for you and your business?
Take the sentences you created above, and list them in order of importance to you. You may have to do this several times before you feel the order is accurate. Then, combine duplicate sentences, or ones that describe similar things.
Once you've finished your list, take the top three to five sentences and combine them into a cohesive paragraph.
5. Refine your statements so that they are broad, future-oriented and use words that reflect your values, priorities and dreams.
You need to refine your statement so it is smooth, clear and easy to understand. Here is a checklist to use when reviewing the words you have written:
TIP: You can use phrases like:
6. Include your employees in the vision creation process, and ask them for feedback.
Do they understand the vision? Do they support it? Does it inspire them? Can they find meaning in their work based on it? Incorporate their feedback, where possible and relevant.
7. Put your vision statement somewhere everyone can see it - your staff, management, customers and vendors.
Once you have created your vision statement, share it with the world. Your vision is something you have committed to, and can let everyone know where your company is heading. It allows them to see where you want to go, and gives them the opportunity to help you get there.
Now, do you have everything you need to start working towards your vision?
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