Vision Statements That Move Organizations Towards Excellence
Vision statements should consider how the market and your customer base may change within the next three, five, or seven years, how such changes can create opportunities for your organization, how to bridge the distance between how things are today and where you envision you want to be within your established timeframe, how you will surpass your competitors in order to gain greater market share, and also what you are doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and your business’s needs.
Like a mission, an organization’s vision has ideally been created/ contributed to by all employees. The more buy-in an organization has among its employees, the greater the effectiveness of the vision. The vision should inspire—it demonstrates where the organization as a whole wants to be, and what will occur as it delivers on its mission. It is where an organization envisions itself in those three, five, or seven years. (We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most organizations to get to the next step.)
So, whereas the mission is what an organization does best every day, its vision is what the future looks like when it fulfills its mission exceedingly well. Some effective vision statements include Nike: To be the number one athletic company in the world, and Amazon: 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.
When I worked for Gatorade, we developed an incredible advantage over the competition because we took the time to establish its vision, where they were going and when they wanted to get there, and ensured that every employee shared this vision. Gatorade’s competitors at the time, Powerade and All Sport, faded away as a result, because they lacked a commonly shared vision, they lacked direction—they lacked a road map.
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