Just like every person needs a vision statement, every business needs a vision statement. It’s important that your organization have a vision that all staff members and customers recognize as a common direction of purpose and growth—something that inspires them. A corporate vision announces to each and every person, affiliated or not, where you are heading and why they should take the trip with you.
Without a vision, there is a lack of direction!
- An ancient saying goes… “If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.”
- Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “without a vision the people perish.”
If you don’t have a common, agreed-on destination, then every individual associated with your company is going to make up their own. Instead of having an employee pursuing the common vision, you have an employee who decides to implement their own. And that can negatively affect your business! Unharnessed and unfocused efforts, where everyone believes they’re doing the right thing, lead to disorder.
A common understanding of the destination allows all stakeholders to align their efforts. And the best part of planning for this journey by creating a vision statement is that it doesn’t cost anything to decide where you want to go.
One of the most important responsibilities of any leader is establishing a vision and inviting others to share in its development.
Because of this, you should really bounce your vision ideas around. Ask people you trust to listen and brainstorm with you. If you are at the point in your business of having employees or partners, process your vision with them. Together, you’re going to develop a strong sense of vision–and from there, a strong vision statement!
Now, as important as the vision is, keeping it alive throughout the year is not an easy task. For you to get the most out of your vision, you must first remove any barriers keeping your vision from being an integral, vibrant facet of the work community.
One of the main obstacles is fear of change. Creating or adjusting a vision statement is an unmistakable indicator of imminent change. It’s helpful to have an idea of the internal dialogues your staff and members will likely be having before, during, and after the development of a new vision. You should listen to and validate your staff’s thoughts. That will help them cope with the change.
Your staff will also go through a series of questions in their mind, whether consciously or not. Take some time to process through the following questions. Answer it for them when you can! Let them know that this change of vision doesn’t mean changing up their importance to the company.
- What is the need for a new vision?
- Will I be able to live with the new vision?
- Will I be able to support the new vision?
- What will the new vision expect of me?
- How will my world change as a result?
- Will I be able to continue doing what I’ve always done? Why or why not?
- Do I believe in this new vision?
- Do I believe in my company’s ability to achieve this vision?
- Do I believe I can help make the vision happen?
Another obstacle to creating a powerful vision is the reality that vision statements are often created perfunctorily and therefore lack follow-through. Vision statements can often be the result of a directive to “get it done” by a certain date.
If you’re creating a vision statement just to hit a certain date, then you’re creating it for all the wrong reasons. Vision statements that develop from this are often created by one person without input from others. And without input from others, then the rest of your business may struggle to understand or accept the new vision statement. And who can blame them? The process precludes genuine buy-in. Although leadership must have a vision for the future, it should be used as a way to open up a dialogue rather than be handed down from on high.
As you work to define and implement a vision statement in your workplace, whether or not you have employees, it’s important to take your time. Decide where you want to go and why you want to get there. And once you’ve figured that out, then it’s time to force that grand concept into one catchy sentence!
What’s your vision statement?
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