Successful companies and people tend to have a clear, active vision statement to guide them
There are companies that don’t put much effort into creating a vision statement for their organizations. Many companies simply focus on delivering a product or service and making the most money doing it. However, those same companies are missing an opportunity to create advantage in their marketplace by harnessing the focused power of its stakeholders. Creating a vision statement for an organization can be the catalyst to move an average organization to becoming one that is extraordinary.
Regardless of your thoughts on Donald J. Trump, more than likely, he has made some impression on you as he has made on the rest of the world. It seems as though everyone has had to make some opinion about him whether good, bad or ugly. Even if you feel that he has done just about everything wrong, the one thing he seems to have done right is to lead with a single, unifying message: we are going to win.
Think about it: who doesn’t want to win? Who couldn’t get onto that bandwagon? Nobody really wants to lose. People can have different goals they want to win at, from merely surviving to making a significant impact on the well-being of mankind, but nobody wants to lose.
Having worked with hundreds of small businesses, it is easy to see the difference between companies that have a clear, focused vision statement that the Company strives for every day, versus the ones that don’t. What we have seen from companies with active vision statements:
- Tend to have lower turnover rates
- Have higher employee motivation
- Tend to have better success attracting and hiring good/great talent
- Have higher customer satisfaction rates
- Have greater motivation
- Have employees with higher commitment to the Company
- Actively make decisions and investments that will lead them toward reaching that vision!
Companies that don’t have active vision statements:
- Take longer to determine direction for the company
- Have difficulty with their company’s messaging and thus stating what makes their offering unique
- Seem to have fewer loyal customers
- Tend not to have a long-term outlook for the Company beyond staying in business, resulting in fewer, if any, long-term investments that would lead toward growing the Company
This is not to say that there are no successful companies without vision statements, but rather, those that tend to have active vision statements – the vision statement that everyone is committed to – have tended toward being more successful.
What is the vision statement?
Wikipedia’s definition of a vision statement is perfect:
A vision statement is a declaration of an organization’s objectives, ideally based on economic foresight, intended to guide its internal decision-making.
As you can see, this definition speaks directly to the observations we have made about companies that do or don’t have a vision statement. The vision statement essentially is the guidewire by which the Company makes its decisions. It differs from a mission statement; the mission statement describes why an organization exists. It is different from a values statement as the values statement describes how a company does and does not conduct its business. The vision statement, alone, speaks to the future.
If your company has a vision statement, measure it against the following:
- Is it practical? Is it something that people can believe?
- Is it clear? Does it get directly to the point?
- Is it transferable? Can other people outside of the organization understand it?
- Is it big enough? Is is something that might one day limit the company? (Think “biggest XYZ firm in the county. What about the state or the region?)
- Is it active? Is this something that you will be able to drive your decisions by and have your company’s stakeholders embrace?
While developing a vision statement for your company is an investment in time, the outcome of the process will be profitable for the Company if done the right way. If your plan is to build an extraordinary company, you will want to make the investment in order to “win so much you’ll get tired of winning!” – Donald J. Trump.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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