Your Vision is one of the most important parts of your Strategic Plan. It’s the part that gets you going in the morning, and communicating it to your team is the easiest way to get them strategically aligned.
It doesn’t change a lot over time. Other parts of your strategy, such as your Core and Non-Core Activities or your Three and Five Year Strategic Moves, do change. But your Vision remains pretty constant.
For example, you’ve probably spent a lot of time watching TED talks. Their vision statement is about as simple as one can be: “Spread ideas.”
They succeed at doing that. At its founding, Microsoft had a very simple vision statement. But at the time they said it, their vision seemed absurd and impossible. Today, we realize what an incredible impact it had on the world. It was: “A computer on every desk and in every home.”
People dream just as big today as they did then. The Alzheimer’s Association, to give you another example, has a simple vision statement as simple as Microsoft’s. It seems impossible today, but hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, they will be as successful as Microsoft was. Their vision is: “A world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
Your vision statement should be just as impactful. It doesn’t matter if it seems impossible. What matters is that it fires you up and makes you want to get to work.
We break it down into three parts.
First, there are your Core Values. Core Values are the behaviors that define your culture. Core Values are clear statements of how you expect every person in your organization to act, regardless of their role. Core Values provide a moral compass for your people. They can help your people to decide on the right course of action, regardless of the challenge they face.
Then, there’s your Core Purpose. Your Core Purpose gives meaning to the work that you do. It’s not “what” you do. It’s not “how” you do it, either. Your Core Purpose is “why” you do what you do. It speaks to your organization’s passion.
And finally, there’s your BHAG, or your “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” a term created by Jim Collins that’s become mainstream. Think of Microsoft’s and Alzheimer’s vision statements. Both of them are essentially BHAGs.
To be complete, and to work for your organization, your Vision should contain all three of those. Take a look at Patagonia’s vision statement, which does exactly that: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Your vision is for you and your team. You need to communicate it to them, and you need to refer to it in your meetings. Obviously, all of the tools ResultsBI provides help you do exactly that.
It’s essential to every successful business. Simon Sinek once said, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
When your employees believe in your vision, your customers and your business partners will feel it. Customers will be easier to close. They will bring more customers to you. Partners will move you to the top of their list, and they will speak well of you to others.
That’s why your Vision is Strategic. It helps you control your future by improving your present. When everyone understands your vision, they can help you make it real.