We all know that a vision is essential for any company or organization. It’s also vitally important for keeping everyone on the same page.
When we set out to create a vision, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to determine what it will be. A vision statement should be simple yet have depth and be original. To the average Joe, a vision statement will sound grand and far-reaching. While a company’s vision may feel like a grand idea and should be a challenging goal to attain, it must be a concept that both you and your team can easily understand.
A vision sets the pace for you, your organization and your projects. Ultimately, a vision sets the standard for what a customer should expect from you. So yes, a vision will set the bar high for everyone.
Determining your vision will require a considerable amount of thought and time. But a few straightforward questions can help lead to a more compelling, challenging and inspiring vision.
Here are seven simple questions that will help you find your vision:
- What is the problem I am seeking to solve? What is the precise solution your organization is working to create? Understanding what you are trying to offer is essential in defining a clear and unique vision.
- What is your time frame? It is a good idea to think ahead as to when you hope to accomplish this vision. A vision should be attainable. Over the years, organizations such as Google, Apple and Facebook have changed their vision statements when revamping their business models. There may be a time when you will have achieved your vision and will be ready for something new. Choosing a time frame gives you and your team an allotted time in which to accomplish a goal.
- How do I believe my company can solve this problem? You should know how you plan on attaining this solution. What are the ways you hope to bring answers to your specific market?
- How will my company (or product) resolve this issue better than any other company? Consider what your company can do differently. What sets you apart from your competitors? Find your angle to a solution.
- What else does your company bring that is different from anyone else out there? Even if we are tackling a need that hundreds or thousands of other businesses are also working on, what makes your company different? Consider those things and how you can implement them into your vision.
- How does my vision align with our business strategy and goals? Consider the values and approaches of your company. How should this shape your statement?
- Is it easy to remember? You want to find something that is memorable to you, your team and your customers. It should be quick to tell a stranger in an elevator, simple enough to remember after one listens, and inspiring and clear as a bell.
The vision statement of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center is “To Separate the Real from the Imagined Through Flight.” This is an ideal vision statement since it is simple enough to remember and intriguing enough to pique one’s curiosity.
Though it should be no more than a line, don’t expect to come up with your vision statement overnight. Consider each question, answer each thoroughly and honestly, and dig deeper with your team into issues you are struggling to solve. Forming a vision may even lead your business strategy to change.
You may find you need to go through a few (or many) drafts before you get there. But just as great companies aren’t built overnight, neither are compelling and memorable vision statements.
After you have carefully crafted it, your vision statement may ultimately change how you do business.