If you don’t have one, get busy. Why every business needs a vision statement
“Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”
Peter Marshall summed it up quite nicely with his quote – we need guiding values or risk losing sight of the big picture. In the world of commerce, this is where a vision statement comes into play. It’s one of the core building blocks and strengths of any business. Vision statements are important for business success as they provide direction for where the business is going. A company without a vision statement is like a raft adrift in the ocean, rudderless, without land or a destination in sight. Developing a clear vision should be a priority for any business leader – it’s one of the most important functions they can perform for the good of their teams and the growth of their business.
Often there is confusion between vision and mission statements. Essentially, a vision statement outlines where you want to be, while a mission statement delineates how you will get there. For a thorough dialogue of the differences between vision and mission, click here and see samples of each type of guiding statement.
So what else does a vision statement do? First and foremost, it defines the values of a company. And through the values, acts as a compass providing direction, purpose and is the cornerstone for everything that is undertaken by the organization. Every business needs to identify their path and the objectives they want to accomplish. The vision statement articulates the major ambitions and goals of the business and must be communicated clearly with all stakeholders. Any business operating without common goals and a shared vision has less of a chance for positive growth since direction for the growth is lacking. A vision statement should be such an integral part of operations that it’s linked to all levels of planning and goal setting. Asking the question: ‘how does this help us achieve our vision?’ should be an active part of any decision making process.
Vision statements aren’t static, they’re dynamic and they can be altered. Objectives and goals may change over time therefore vision statements should be revised as needed to reflect the changes as goals are reached. That said, they should be written to last for some time, a few years at the very least. A good vision statement should:
– Give purpose to your business
– Motivate and encourage commitment
– Link to your actions, goals and company strategy
– Call for a shared commitment from stakeholders and employees alike
– Reflect the company’s beliefs and strengths
Cornerstone Dynamics strongly believes in the importance of vision statements and spent a lot of time devising the CSD vision that reflected our values and outlined our goals. Please feel free to take a look.
As Jack Welch said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
And that my friends, is why a vision statement is so important.
Is your company’s vision statement and integral part of day to day business? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!