IMHO, your business Vision statement is a succinct and inspirational way to tell others what you want your stakeholders – that is your clients or customers, staff, suppliers, partners and others - to feel and or experience, when they use your products or services.
A reminder: your Vision is ideally about your stakeholders, it’s not about you or your business, not at this stage of the process.
So where to start! Here's a few practical tips on how to get your very own business Vision statement that means something special:
Whether you're a sole-preneur or have a team, my clients always find it useful to have a practical and team based approach to seeking out their Vision. Let’s face it, many brains are better than one… If you don't work with a team, ask some people who know you and your business and how you work, to help you on this journey. If you do have a team, get as many as possible involved in the process because when done well, it’s a great team building and engagement exercise.
Ask questions such as:
- What is/was my/our passion & purpose?
- Why did I/we start this business?
- What need is this business aiming to fill, was it to right a wrong or to create a new or different experience?
- Who is/are our audience and what or how do I/we want them to experience or feel when using our product or service?
- Why does anyone actually care what we’re doing and why?
- What do we hear people say to us or others about how they feel or what they do experience when using our product or service?
Capture your words and ideas along the way. Make sure you are putting these thoughts, ideas and feelings down in words by:
- Doing a “Brain dump” from all participants
- Look for and draw out common themes.
- Advance your thoughts by using a sentence starting with “We exist” To create a world/experience /environment where …………. (This …….… bit is meant to be your Vision statement)
- Prune and shorten the phrase, summarise and use concise words.
- Ideally, you want to end up with no more than 12 – 15 words in your final Vision phrase. This makes it really easy to remember and be meaningful and impactful which is your goal.
- Do a sense check: Make sure the sentence is about the stakeholders, it should NOT say; where “we do this…”, or “we do that….”
Another couple of things to check:
- Is this vision aspirational? That is, will we be able to reach it easily after which it becomes less impactful, or will the team be inspired in continuing to work toward it ongoingly.
- Is this in our language and does it have the flavour of us/our business about it?
A true Vision is usually aspirational and infinite (see Simon Sinek’s YouTube video on The Infinite Game). It’s not a goal, defined by numbers or % targets. You may never actually reach your end point, but it’s the journey you take whereby you’re proud to see you’re genuinely able to make a difference to others along the way that keeps you jumping out of bed to go to work.
I’d love to hear your company’s Vision Statement and why you chose that. If you disagree with what I’ve said, feel free to share that back to me too. I love to hear other’s points of view, and contact me if I can help you along the way.