So much rests on the vision we cast. The future of those we are responsible for, our
families, our staff, our customers, shareholders, community, country and every country in which we operate are all affected for good or bad for as long as the vision and the resulting strategies are in place.
Strategic frameworks however tend to be confusing. Visions, missions, values, all stating different things, all pointing in different directions. Making the overall picture too complicated to remember let alone retaining any capacity to capture the heart.
For that is what vision must do. It must have the clarity and emotional appeal needed to inspire action and the simplicity to be remembered and enacted.
Living with an unclear vision is just the same as having no vision at all, possibly worse because the lack of clarity legitimises directionless action.
Vision must therefore be simple. But creating a simple, clear and compelling vision statement can be very difficult.
Here are some tips:
1. Keep it short, 3-7 words.
Too often we try to fit it all into one long statement the result can be a long rambling paragraph or two that is impossible to remember and therefore completely unable to inspire action. The trick is to keep it short, perhaps only 7 words in length or less, then reinforce your statement with vivid descriptions. Vivid descriptions are paragraphs that describe what it will look like when you get there. Into these vivid descriptions you can and should inject emotional appeal. Every time I do this I end out with an A4 page with a single short vision statement at the top in bold with 3-5 paragraphs of emotional text explaining what it will look like.
2. Make it specific
Avoid vague, go for something you can measure, it might be a number, or a market position or date, just keep your vision statement focused, simple. Doing this will result in a vision that is sure to inspire your team. Use your vivid descriptions to bring life to the statement, to give it legs and emotional appeal.
3. Make it big
Think big. Make it inspiringly big. You want your team to think; “what… really…is that possible, can we do that?” You don’t want them to have the answer to that question right off…you want the vision to inspire them to look for the answers, to push forwards, to test the limits and to try new things. If your vision does not challenge everything you do, it is not big enough.
Have you had the pleasure of working for an organisation with a great vision? Please comment below.