The Importance of Defining Your Company’s Vision By Carson Leith
A “vision” can be defined many ways, but today we’ll be discussing what it means for your company. Specifically, a vision is a desired future state or a focused direction and purpose. Without a vision, your team can certainly do the work you tell them to do, but they’ll be missing the big “why” behind the work. And that “why” is where their motivation comes from. Therefore, in order to inspire and motivate your team to work harder, you can’t simply load them up with more work and give them rewards for finishing. You have to impress a grander vision for why they’re doing what they’re doing. Employee Engagement starts when the team has bought into the vision of the company. When they’re detached from that, productivity and excitement start to wane.
How to Create a Vision Statement
As stated by the HBR, “A well-conceived vision consists of two major components: core ideology and envisioned future. Core ideology defines what we stand for and why we exist. The envisioned future is what we aspire to become, to achieve, to create—something that will require significant change and progress to attain.”
Let’s walk through how to create a vision. Answer the following questions to do so:
Who are you? It’s not about the products you sell or the people currently in leadership, but about who the company is at the core.
What do you stand for?
Why does your company as a whole go to work each day? What drives you beyond making money?
What enduring values do you hold that will help you achieve your core purpose as a company? What distinguishes you from the rest of the companies in your field? Try to keep it at 3 to 5 values.
What is your envisioned future reality of your business 10 to 30 years from now? Describe what you see in detail. What will it be like to achieve that goal?
How to Draft a Mission Statement
The mission of your company directly serves your vision. The purpose of a mission statement is to provide a road map you can use to accomplish your vision. The mission statement should be short: 1–2 sentences maximum. It shouldn’t go into the nitty gritty details of what you do, (ex: Create the best computers we can) it should reveal why you do what you do (Microsoft’s mission: “To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential).
How do you want to help people? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to use your business for good? The answers to those questions should be inferred in your mission statement. And remember that a mission statement is fluid. It can be revisited and doesn’t have to be set in stone.
How to Communicate Purpose to Your Team
Be real. Your team is tired of “business speak” and “corporate jargon.” They are searching for a person they can trust, a person who is real with them, and a person who is honest and vulnerable about revealing who they are. Without this kind of trust between you and your team, your efforts to try and communicate vision will only go so far.
Relate mundane tasks to the long-term goals. Help people understand how their work fits into the larger picture of what the company is trying to accomplish. People will feel inspired and ready to fulfill their purpose mores than if they feel like they’re in a silo on their own. They want to play an integral part of a team who has a larger vision.
Communicate often and in regular language. Communicating vision can’t be done effectively once a year at a company outing. People have short term memories and they often get uninspiredmore easily than inspired. That’s why as a manager or a leader, you need to be always hammering home to your team about the reasons why you’re all there. Day in, day out, what is it that you’re accomplish in the grand scheme of things? Let people know how they’re helping in this regard and let them know often.