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How To Create Your Vision Statement In Three Easy Steps

18 February, 2019

One of the most critical tasks for any organisations leadership team is to get some clarity around their vision, their perfect world outcome. Once established, this has to be shared across the entire organisation in simple easily digestible, often inspirational, language. However, it's not unusual for this exercise to tax even the sharpest minds.

In our view, the simplest and best way to create your organisation's vision is to follow these three steps.

  1. Identify what you want to change
  2. Identify what you want the change to be
  3. Find the right words to communicate it

So, for example, your Vision may be:

A world without slavery
The thing to be changed is slavery; the change is to abolish it.

People with disability have equal opportunity for employment
The thing to be changed are disabled people's employment opportunities; the change is making them equal.

ACME Co. is a global company
The thing to be changed is the company's geographical reach; the change is to make the reach global.

Hone your Vision statement such that it doesn't need flowery languageHone your Vision statement such that it doesn't need flowery language

Recently we did some work with a digital marketing agency in the UK. During the session, we struggled to figure out their vision of where the business wanted to be. Like many small businesses their current "vision" was little more than "meet payroll and stay viable". Sound familiar?

As the session went on, we all realised that growing the agency relied on working with the right clients, clients that valued what the agency did for them. Sure they had some clients where the relationship was purely transactional, but the most lucrative clients were the ones who place real value on what the agency brought to the table.

In the end, and this is a work in progress, we all agreed on "To be valued by every client we have". First, they recognised they wanted to stop living hand to mouth; this is the thing they wanted to change. To make that change they understood they needed to make sure their client base was made up of organisations who value the relationship they have with them.

The inspirational part was merely the statement that they wanted to be valued by every client they have, not just some or most of them.

Choosing the right inspirational words can be hard because both empathy and creativity are needed. Here's another real-world example.

The new CEO of the oldest LPG company in Australia, who employed more than 1,000 people, recognised the company had lost its mojo. For whatever reason, the organisation was feeling beaten up by its major competitors and needed to make some big decisions to improve its strategic position.

Of vital importance was the creation and communication of the leadership teams Vision, because success relied on the whole organisation being onboard and motivated.

Many people in the organisation had given their whole career to the company. They were understandably unhappy about where the company was. So the CEO crafted the Vision, "We're going to return ACME Corp to its rightful place as the #1 LPG company in Australia".

The thing they wanted to change was the company's position; the change was making the company No. 1.

The vision was inspirational in itself and only needed simple language to communicate it, and the lesson here is to hone your Vision statement such that it doesn't need flowery language.

As you roll out and execute your strategy, it's vital that both your Mission and Vision get communicated across your organisation. Making them powerful yet straightforward is a great approach and helps with their adoption. If you don't believe us, check out these examples.

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