11. How To Set Your Vision

Vision and goal-setting are managerial competencies because having a clear vision of the end state we are trying to achieve before we take action to reach our goals is the key factor in accomplishing any goals that we set.

Your vision is a “picture” of what you aspire to – and what inspires you – in your work life. Therefore, articulating your vision statement is the first step in helping you eventually reach your goals. Creating the statement of a shared vision is an exercise of thorough, open communication, exploration of assumptions, research, and co-creation. 

A vision statement describes the business as it would appear in a future successful state. When developing a vision statement, try to answer this question: If the business were to achieve all of its strategic goals, what would it look like 10 years from now?  

An effective vision statement is inspirational and aspirational. It creates a mental image of the future state that the organization wishes to achieve. A vision statement should challenge and inspire entrepreneurs. 

A vision statement describes what you want your business to become in the future. Keep the following in mind as you create your vision statement:  

  • Inspire. It should be aspirational and inspirational. 
  • Not a How-To. Ideally, the statement should be one sentence in length and should not explain how the vision will be met.  
  • Ask Yourself. When developing your vision, keep these questions in mind: What is unique about doing business with your brand? / How would your customers describe your brand? / Where do you want your business to be in five years? 
  • Take Into Account Differences in People. Some people arrive at a vision through analysis and others arrive by dreaming about the future. All of these perspectives can drive a great vision - embrace them all. 
  • Make the Process Focused. Vision can be the most enjoyable part of planning, but the part where time easily gets away from you. 

Some vision statements from well-known companies are: 

  • Creative Commons: Realizing the full potential of the internet - universal access to research and education, full participation in culture - to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity. 
  • Microsoft (at its founding): A computer on every desk and in every home

The exercise proposed below will guide you through the development of your business vision statement. 

PDF

Setting Your Vision - Mission Statement Guidelines & Worksheet

 

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