How to write a vision statement

How to write a vision statement

A vision statement is a concise declaration that outlines an organization’s future aspirations and purpose. It is an essential element of an organization’s strategic planning process and serves as a guiding force for decision-making. The purpose of a company’s vision statement is multifaceted. Firstly, it serves as a compass for the organization’s new initiatives and the tactics employed to achieve them. Secondly, it provides the company’s leaders and staff with a framework for decision-making and task completion. Additionally, the vision statement offers a broad perspective on the organization’s operations, which can captivate potential investors and strategic partners. Externally, a company’s vision statement can resonate with consumers, aiding them in discovering brands that align with their principles.

Steps to writing a vision statement

Here are the steps to write a vision statement;

  1. Start with research: Before you start drafting a vision statement, research your organization’s mission, values, and goals. Talk to stakeholders, employees, and customers to get a clear understanding of your organization’s future aspirations.
  2. Define your purpose: Define your organization’s purpose and what it wants to achieve. Your vision statement should be aligned with your organization’s purpose.
  3. Be specific and concise: Your vision statement should be specific and concise. 
  4. Be ambitious: A vision statement should be ambitious and aspirational. It should challenge your organization to strive for greatness and inspire your employees to work towards a common goal.
  5. Use simple language: Use simple and clear language to convey your vision statement. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may confuse your employees or stakeholders.
  6. Make it inspiring: Your vision statement should be inspiring and motivational. It should be something that your employees can get excited about and rally behind.
  7. Review and revise: Once you have drafted your vision statement, review it carefully and revise it if necessary. Make sure that it accurately reflects your organization’s aspirations and is aligned with your overall strategy.

Here’s an example of a well-written vision statement;

“Our goal is to become the top supplier of eco-friendly energy solutions worldwide by providing inventive and economical options that help lower our clients' carbon emissions and promote a cleaner, healthier planet.”

Vision statement versus mission statement

A vision statement and a mission statement are both important components of an organization’s strategic planning process. However, they serve different purposes;

Vision statement: A vision statement is a concise statement that outlines the organization’s future aspirations and purpose. It describes what the organization wants to achieve in the long term and serves as a guiding force for decision-making. A vision statement is usually future-oriented, inspirational, and broadly defined.

Mission statement:¬†A mission statement defines the organization’s core purpose, values, and goals. It outlines what the organization does, how it does it, and for whom. A mission statement is usually focused on the present and provides a roadmap for achieving the organization’s vision.

In summary, a vision statement outlines the organization’s long-term aspirations, while a mission statement defines its core purpose and values and provides a roadmap for achieving its vision.

Things to consider when preparing a vision statement

A vision statement is an essential component of any organization’s strategic planning process. It describes the company’s long-term aspirations and outlines its goals and objectives. Here are some important things to consider when preparing a vision statement:

  1. Mission and values: Your vision statement should be aligned with your organization’s mission and core values. It should reflect what your company stands for and what it hopes to achieve.
  2. Future-oriented: Your vision statement should focus on the future and articulate what the organization hopes to become. It should be forward-looking and inspiring.
  3. Clarity: The vision statement should be clear and concise so that everyone in the organization can understand and remember it.
  4. Specificity: The vision statement should be specific enough to provide direction, but also flexible enough to accommodate changes in the business environment.
  5. Realistic: The vision statement should be grounded in reality and achievable. It should be something that the organization can realistically work towards and accomplish.
  6. Unique: The vision statement should set the organization apart from its competitors and reflect its unique strengths and capabilities.
  7. Stakeholder alignment: The vision statement should be communicated and aligned with all stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, and partners.
  8. Relevance: The vision statement should be relevant to the organization’s industry, market, and customers.
  9. Timeframe: The vision statement should have a long-term perspective, typically ranging from five to ten years, but it should also be reviewed and updated periodically.
  10. Inspiration: Finally, the vision statement should be inspiring and motivational, capturing the imagination of everyone in the organization and motivating them to work towards a common goal.

Do’s and don’t of writing a vision statement

A vision statement is a vital component of any organization’s strategic plan. It provides a clear, inspiring, and aspirational statement of the organization’s future direction and purpose. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when writing a vision statement:

Do’s:

  1. Be aspirational: A vision statement should be forward-looking and inspiring. It should communicate the organization’s aspirations and ambitions for the future.
  2. Be specific: The statement should clearly articulate the organization’s purpose, goals, and objectives. It should also be specific enough to differentiate the organization from others.
  3. Be concise: Keep the statement brief and to the point. A vision statement should be a one or two-sentence statement that is easy to remember and communicate.
  4. Involve stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders in the process of developing the vision statement. It can include employees, customers, and other crucial stakeholders.
  5. Reflect on the organization’s values: The vision statement should reflect the organization’s core values and beliefs.

Don’ts:

  1. Be vague: A vision statement that is too general or vague will not inspire employees or stakeholders. Avoid using jargon or buzzwords that don’t really mean anything.
  2. Be too focused on short-term goals: A vision statement should focus on the long-term goals and objectives of the organization. It should not be too focused on short-term results.
  3. Be too complicated: Avoid using complex language or terminology that is difficult to understand. Keep the statement simple and easy to understand.
  4. Ignore the organization’s history: The vision statement should take into account the organization’s history and legacy. It should build on the organization’s strengths and achievements.
  5. Be unrealistic: While the vision statement should be aspirational, it should also be grounded in reality. Avoid setting unrealistic goals or objectives that are unlikely to be achieved.