Every great company is lead and guided by a vision. A vision is what the organization eventually hopes to accomplish or the contribution it hopes to make in this world.
Much like a mission statement and core values, a vision should be well articulated and referred to often. It should be easy to understand and be clear.
A vision can be viewed as being unrealistic by others. It is a long-term goal. When leaders are establishing a vision they should consider the idea of when they are gray and old, looking back, what is the number one thing they hope to achieve through their organization. 20, 30 or 50 years from now, what is the big contribution the company will have made to the world. This is the premise for a good vision statement.
Here are some examples of good vision statements from some of the leading companies in the world.
Google’s Vision: To provide access to the world’s information in one click.
Amazon’s Vision: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Unlike the mission statement which focuses on “the why” behind what people do day in and day out, the vision focuses on “the why” of long-term existence as an organization. Living the mission today and each day will help a company achieve its vision.
A vision is important to any organization for a few reasons.
One, it reminds people of the greater good they are striving to make in the world. This helps staff see past the day to day and remember that they are contributing to something meaningful, something that will make a real difference. It reminds everyone that the daily discipline and effort required to be successful will all be worth it in the end. When a team doesn’t have hope for the future, when they don’t know the end results, work can feel like drudgery.
Two, it guides decision making. When leaders are struggling to determine the best course of action, a clear vision will lead them. A certainty around what the organization hopes to accomplish one day can provide a north star of sorts to leaders, helping to direct the organization to its eventual destination. When an organization isn’t sure where it is going, it will rarely make decisions that will help the company prosper.
A vision statement is one of the three building blocks for establishing a strong organizational culture. With a clear and definitive vision in place, an organization will be better prepared to reach its potential and succeed.