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Understand the Function of a Vision Statement

written by: KLeeBanks•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/21/2010

Companies should understand the importance of a vision statement for the current health and future direction of the company. While a business plan and a mission statement provide a firm foundation and cohesive structure for a company, a vision statement sets the course for its long-term success.

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    Team Meeting Discussing Vision Statement A Bible verse, Proverb 29:18, says that without a vision, people perish. It seems that could very well apply to the importance of a vision statement for a company. If a company and its primary management staff only dwell in the “here and now” according to the initial business plan, without a thought toward growth and future goals, that company may be on the road to failure. A vision statement builds on the framework of a business plan and fulfills the human value of the mission statement.

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    Creating a Vision Statement

    Mindtools provides this summary of three steps to take to help develop a vision statement for a company [1]:

    1. Identify the company’s mission, including the human value within that mission.

    2. Ascertain what aspects of the company hold the most value for you as the business owner, for the customers or clients, and any other stakeholders; incorporate these values into the vision statement.

    3. Create a combined version of mission and values to arrive at an inspirational, energizing vision statement that motivates internal employees as well as external customers, clientele, and other interested parties.

    Business consultant Carter McNamara states that a vision statement depicts the ultimate results a company strives to achieve, and serves to provide both motivation and inspiration to attain those results. Further, McNamara defines the importance of a vision statement by differentiating between grand vision and strategic vision [2]:

    • Grand Vision: a broad long-term representation of the company and its stakeholders as projected in the future, such as a description of the company’s reputation, including how consumers view its products and/or services.
    • Strategic Vision: a short-term current or anticipated depiction of the company following implementation of a strategic plan of action, such as a new marketing plan and increased sales; intended to provide direction and focus during both planning and implementation stages.
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    A successful entrepreneur understands what a vision statement does for a company. Building on the business plan and mission statement, the importance of a vision statement lies in its ability to provide inspiration for the employees and direction for the future. A vision statement can also include short-term strategic vision plans, as well as long-term grand vision plans.

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    References, Resources, & Image Permission

    Please check out the relevant references for this article, as well as helpful resources to expand your knowledge on this topic. The article's image permission is also below.


    [1] MindTools. Mission Statements and Vision Statements. Retrieved from

    [2] Blog: Strategic Planning. Use Grand Vision and Strategic Vision in Strategic Planning. Retrieved from

    Resources Create Your Strategic Business Plan in a Day. Retrieved from

    Alison - FREE Online Courses. Diploma in Business Management & Entrepreneurship. Retrieved from

    Image Permission

    Team meeting used by permission from Stock.xchng.