Successful organizations understand the importance of investing the time to define its vision, mission and values in order to provide long-term direction for employees. A business should be able to articulate what it is trying to achieve and the basic purpose of its existence.
This philosophy supersedes the notion that organizations simply exist to make a profit and focuses on identifying the customers that will be served and investing in a long-term approach to serving that customer base .
Effective leadership thinks and strategizes for the future, based on customer requirements and market conditions.
“Visionary leaders create mental and verbal pictures of desirable future states and share these visions with their organizational partners, including customers, suppliers and employees.” The Management and Control of Quality, 2002
A Vision Statement is simply a written document that describes where an organization is going and what it will look like when it gets there. It describes what the company is striving for and what it hopes to achieve. Its goal is to articulate the characteristics that influence the organization’s strategy. This statement and philosophy is what gives an organization its direction and focus.
Organizations that don’t have a clear, articulate vision have the potential to veer off course and lose focus of its goals and priorities. In order for employees to truly partner with a business and help them achieve their strategic goals, they need to understand why they are there and what they are trying to achieve.
As an example, a grocery store may begin focusing on the flower and gift market and put so much effort into that, that they lose sight of their main business – groceries. This may result in neglecting those things that would enhance and grow their core
business. A defined vision statement could possibly be the tool to help them stay focused on key business priorities.
Example Vision Statements
Large and small organizations alike invest the time and resources into developing Vision, Mission and Values statements. Here are some sample vision statements:
“We will be an outstanding company by exceeding customer expectations through empowered people, guided by shared values.”
“To become a premier electronics company providing world leadership in digital solutions for the networked society – a society transformed by personalized electronics, all speaking the same digital language, all able to communicate anytime, anywhere.”
” Be the best and continuously improve.”
“St. Louis Children’s Hospital will be the hallmark for quality pediatric care within our region, as well as nationally and internationally. As the flagship for a growing, integrated pediatric health-care network, we will lead the development of innovative, cost-effective approaches in prevention, primary care and specialty services, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of all children.”
St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Defining your organization’s vision, mission and values statements should be the first step in the strategic planning process. While this process can be a bit of a time investment, it is a critical step in achieving long-term success.
Once the Vision, mission and values statement is developed it is important to share it with employees and customers as well as finding creative ways to display it in public places, and to give it a prominent spot on your website. This step communicates its value and the organization’s commitment to achieving it.
Has your organization gone through the process of creating a vision statement?
This article was originally posted August 13, 2009 and was updated October 24, 2013.