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How to Craft a Vision Statement for Your Organisation

How to Craft a Vision Statement for Your Organisation

Business Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

28 Sep 2015, 13:13 — 7 min read

Having a vision is important for all business owners and entrepreneurs. It sets a frame of reference for your entire team and also points them to a destination becauseeverything that the organisation does is directed towards achieving that vision.

 

A vision statement is not for the short term. You could even keep a time horizon of 25 to 30 years when crafting a vision statement.

 

Here’s how to craft a vision statement.

 

A simple trick is to look at your organisation 25 years from now.

 

What does your organisation look like? – Visualise what your organisation will look like 25 years from now.  Do not be constrained or limited in your vision by what is present today. You have chosen a horizon where anything is achievable, provided you get down to it.

 

How large is your organisation? – Does it have offices all over the world? Does it have a thousand employees? Do you have different verticals in the organisation, servicing different interest groups? Go ahead, articulate all of it!

 

Why do people know and respect your organisation?– Is your organisation popular and respected because of its RY&D? Is it because people love and respect your brand? Or is it something that the organisation has achieved over the years? Remember, we are discussing achievements that have happened as a result of many years of effort – a culmination of events and not a single event.

 

Success parameters – How would you measure success? Would you define your organisation as successful in terms of business volume, revenue, social impact or even contribution to the world, the national exchequer or any other parameter?

 

Your impact on and contribution to society – Try and visualise how you think your organisation will impact society and even the country or the world. Are your products changing the way people do things? Are they benefitting millions of consumers? Or are they significantly helping a particular section of society that did not have access to such facilities or services before?

 

Limits you set to activities - There are certain things oractivities that your organisation will not carry out – and this needs to be articulated too. It could be related to the environment, or the exploitation of people etc. It could be related to how you acquire business. This addresses certain strong points that the organisation is very particular about. For instance, you might have a restriction that your organisation will not manufacture or distribute any product that depletes the forests (you will find a solution that can substitute for this activity).

 

Impact on people within the organisation – This section addresses how people within the organisation feel about the organisation. Do they see it as a business that is no-nonsense? Do they see it as a highly process-driven organisation? Do they see it as a warm, people-driven organisation? How do people see their job?

 

What does the organisation bring to the table? – Look at this from a client’s perspective. What are the important things that you offer? Is it peace of mind? Is it quality? Is it flawless product design or is it superlative service? There could be a host of small things too. Write down two or three of the most important ones.

 

What kind of people will you hire? – This point addresses not just the skills but the all-important issue of attitude. People may probably be the most important part of your organisation and this section therefore should ideally be addressed in detail – take a little longer to do so, if necessary.

 

How people outside the organisation see it – Here you address what various interest groups think about your organisation. This could look at the organisation from a product perspective, quality perspective, or its social contribution. It may be a mix of many factors.

 

Having addressed these questions and more, you are now ready to actually craft your vision statement. Answers to the questions above would have helped clarify your thinking – the next step is to crystallise all this into a crisp vision statement.

 

The idea is to distil the most important of these, if not all, and craft them into a compelling vision statement that:

  • Sets the pace and the tone
  • Creates a framework or a frame of reference form within which to operate
  • Energises your team
  • Shows a long term destination

Some pointers before you craft the vision statement for your organisation:

  • Think long term – look at the horizon maybe 25 years from now

  • Talk as if it has happened

  • Talk with pride - Show in the statement things that you are proud of

  • Bring it alive - Make the statement come alive – dull boring statements don’t enthuse people to act

  • Think beyond yourself – This is often difficult but you have to remember that the vision is for the organisation(even if you are the owner) and its collective strengths

  • Reflect values – This could start with your own personal values. But the statement should ideally reflect the organisation’s values.

  • Create the first draft –Remember, the first draft is bound to change in the subsequent steps – but it is an essential first step and acts as a frame of reference to go by. Mull over each point and weigh every word. Figure out why you are including every word – as if you have to explain the presence of every word in the statement. (Chances are you will have to in the subsequent step).

  • Show it to your colleagues – Ideally this is done through a workshop that has a single agenda. The crafting of the vision is an important event that will impact the organisation, and all its stakeholders directlyor indirectly and should therefore be given its fair share of time and focus. Deliberate the statement and cull out any redundancies or ambiguities.

  • Craft the final statement– Now it is time for you to craft the final statement with your team. Be ready for some fine-tuning when you run it past the entire organisation. This fine-tuning does not mean any change in the essence and fabric ofwhat you have said – it is more to do with the choice of words so that people understand it better.

  • Explain, espouse, energise and evangelise – Now that your statement has been crafted and agreed upon, you are ready to spread it.Let itdistil into every person in the organisation and reflect in every activity. Create some initial momentum around this.

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GlobalLinker Staff

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