Writing a Vision Statement for your Business
Define the Timeframe of Vision Statement
Some organizations prefer to be very specific about the timeframe of their statement. They may choose the vision statement to be worded in the following format: “Five years from now, XYZ will be the number one service provider for commercial cleaning services in Chicago." It is quite like J.F. Kennedy’s legendary vision statement, “We will land a man on the moon before this decade is out." But there are also organizations that are likely to have a vision statement that is not bounded by time limits. For example, Google’s vision statement has an element of timelessness to it: “To develop a perfect search engine." Now “perfect" can be an endless quest.
Maintain a Confident and Affirmative Tone
One of the cardinal principles to follow when writing your vision statement is that it must have an underlying tone of immense conviction, self-confidence, and positivity. Instead of focusing on “what you don’t want your business to be" the entire focus must be on “what you want your business to be." The vision statement should be a reflection of a strong leadership that believes in what it is doing, how it is doing, and most importantly, the why of what it is doing. A vision statement is not about a hope or wish, but it is a crystal-clear expression of your organization’s determination and decisiveness about its own future.
Create Several Drafts and Evaluate Objectively
Once the company is clear on what they want contained in the statement and what contents to include in it, a few drafts should be prepared that communicate the vision in an effective manner. The top management of the company should evaluate each draft objectively and review their merits and demerits. After due analysis and deliberation, the draft which appeals most strong may be chosen as the organization’s vision statement. Alternatively, two or more drafts may be synthesized together to come up with the right statement that spells out the company’s vision most effectively.
Check which of the drafts is answering most of these questions consummately:
- What is the purpose of the creation of your business?
- What unfulfilled needs of the consumers your business will fulfill?
- Who do you envision as the ultimate beneficiaries of your business?
- What would be the shape, size or market position of your business in the future?
Do a Sample Testing of your Vision Statement
Once your vision statement has been finalized, share it with some trusted and experienced friends, colleagues or family members, those other than the people who have been involved in its formulation. Those will be neutral observers who can provide you with useful feedback and reactions. So before formalizing the vision statement and officially announcing it publicly, test its effectiveness within your close circles. This will ensure any flaws that may have been overlooked despite several drafts and reviews may still emerge on the surface and there will be enough opportunity to rectify them.
The key point to remember on how to write a vision statements is that they must be direct, unambiguous, and honest in their representation of the organization’s vision about its own future position in a competitive world.
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