The Compelling Effect of the Vision Statement
Few, if any, forces are as powerful as shared vision. A clearly worded vision is vital to the success of a business because it creates enthusiasm for a future state that is important and desirable by everyone who is expected to play a part in its achievement.
Very simply, a shared vision statement answers the question, "What do we want to aspire to become or create?" When employees at all levels can answer this question the same way, they are bound to and motivated by a future that matters to them and to all stakeholders.
Shared vision is more than the personal vision of a company's leader, or even its leadership team. This is not to say that visions do not emanate from the top. They can sometimes "bubble up" within the organization, from people working and interacting with one another. And as with any other meaningful initiative, crafting an effective vision statement takes and deserves time and involvement. While most begin with the leadership team, the opportunity for participation from a broader group of team members can lead to an effective process and a better outcome. Since people tend to support what they help create, this broad-based involvement takes on even greater meaning.
Meeting in small groups that cross departmental lines and levels on the organization chart, insight, ideas, and aspirations are captured in a structured but free-flowing session. Professional facilitation of these meetings is key and can help ensure that time is well spent, and that full participation is encouraged and supported. Begin by capturing phrases, concepts, ideas, and aspirations. Discuss these and encourage debate and conflicting ideas and concepts. This is raw material for the coming together of an effective, compelling, unifying, and energizing vision statement that will galvanize team members and will stand the test of time.
What's most important in planning is not the origin of a company's vision. Rather, it's the creation of a clearly defined future destination that builds focus, enthusiasm, and a common identity among employees and all stakeholders.
For more information about creating or refreshing your organization’s vision statement, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.