An organisation’s strategic vision is the aspirations that the owners / senior decision makers have for their organisation and should paint a picture of the future that clarifies the direction of the company and helps individuals to understand why and how they should support it. It should be highly aspirational in nature, stretching the imagination and providing inspiration, direction and motivation to those involved in the organisation.
Since the strategic vision is outside the organisation’s planning window (usually 5-10 years in the future) and, there is no need to understand how to achieve it. Rather it should serve as a destination – a point on the horizon that ensures the organisation is always heading in the correct direction and helping it to set proprieties and make strategic decisions.
With a single unifying vision statement, employees are all on the same page and can be more productive. Consequently, the strategic vision should remain consistent through the entire organisation so while different parts of an organisation may have their own goals, they should all be linked to and focused on achieving the overarching vision of the organisation as whole.
So, what should a vision statement contain?
A high-quality and inspiring vision statement for a small business should have two key characteristics:
1) It needs to state where the company wants to be in the distant future, and
2) It must inspire excitement and motivation within the organisation
Many people tend to think of the vision in purely financial terms. In reality, financial aspirations do not have any place in the strategic vision – they are much more short-term in nature and are a means to an end rather than an end in themselves.
The bottom line on vision, then, is to recognise the complexities of the business and create visions for areas that are meaningful to internal and external constituencies, and make sure these visions are consistent with the mission. Grapple with the future.