The start of a new year is a time for reflecting as we plan for the year ahead. It is a useful time to write or re-visit your vision statement as a guide for what you hope to achieve or accomplish in the mid or long-term future.
Writing your vision statement is a time for creativity, ambition and fun, but the task should be approached seriously as it can be helpful when choosing current and future courses of action for your organisation.
There is a process to this, and it’s not usually quick or simple, the best way to begin is to reflect on some of the most significant events or ideas that have impacted the company over the past 12 months.
A vision statement should be concise, no longer than a few paragraphs at most. You want your entire team to be able to repeat it back, and more importantly, understand it. Identifying core values should be compelling not just to the high-level executives of your company, but to all your employees.
To get started, ask each member of the team involved, to write down their interpretation of each stage and compare at the end which will throw up areas for discussion and will lead to key areas of focus and ultimately lead you to your statement.
Now, ask yourselves these questions…….
- “What do we do right now that aligns with our core company values? Where are we not aligned with these values? How do we stay aligned with these values as we grow over the next three, five years, 10 years?”
- Next, ask what problems your company hopes to solve in the next few years. These questions address your current situation and help identify the bigger-picture vision.
- What does your company hope to achieve over the same timescale?
- Who are your target customer/client base, and what more do you want to do for them?
- Based on your responses to these questions, ask what success will look like if you accomplish those things.
These questions and the responses each person has given will aid discussion and don’t be afraid to stretch the imagination as this will provide the direction and clarity and allow you to set priorities while challenging your employees to grow to meet these challenges.
After the analysis process, here are my top tips for writing your vision statement:
- Project no less than five to 10 years in the future.
- Dream big, and focus on success.
- Use the present tense, make it real and tangible.
- Use clear, concise language.
- Infuse your vision statement with passion and emotion.
- Paint a graphic mental picture of the business you want.
Once you have developed your statement, don’t forget to communicate it to everyone in your company. Then, it’s up to you to nurture and support that vision and to inspire your employees to do the same. We need to dream to achieve.