Strategic Planning Building Blocks: Vision
It’s not so hard to plan when you know what you’re planning for. What’s your guiding star?
A Strategic Plan that tangibly moves you toward a compelling – even exciting – future is a Plan unlikely to gather dust on a shelf.
TPG’s strategic planning experiences with hundreds of entities (large and small, corporate and nonprofit, local, national, and international) has us convinced that excellent plans begin with a clear and compelling Vision.
A Vision Statement provides direction and motivation for both daily operations and strategic decisions. You might say it’s a written depiction of a distant star – your constant guiding light.
We tend to resonate with James J. Mapes, in Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind, who says, “A mission statement comes from the head. A vision comes from the heart. Vision is creating an ideal future with a grand purpose. Vision is all about greatness.”
The process of Visioning itself can be transformative for an organization, in deeply understanding its own values and purpose, its DNA, its role in the world, and its envisioned future.
The Vision takes a little time to become clear – it doesn’t usually happen in one conversation, or even one meeting. The process of getting there can vary, depending on the entity and its circumstances. It’s got to be powerful enough to energize people across the company or organization, not just the owner, CEO, or executive director.
Here are a few representative Vision Statements from Fortune 500 companies you may know:
Walmart: To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees.
Amazon.com: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company, to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
McKesson: Our vision is to create a healthcare system that leads to lower costs, fewer mistakes, higher quality and better health for all.
Fannie Mae: To be America’s most valued housing partner.
Ford Motor Company: People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.
What’s your Vision?
P.S.: For some musical inspiration as you ponder Vision Statements, check out the song Guiding Star by Cast!
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