Your Corporate Vision is roughly the business equivalent of your Personal Vision. More specifically, it can be seen as an expansion of your Professional Goals as they relate to your business. In other words, it defines your business aspirations.
Creating a Corporate Vision requires a careful balance between the head and the heart. Between practicality and creativity. You must draw on your past experiences, your knowledge of your industry and your competition, your understanding of your own company’s strengths and weaknesses, and your intuition about the future in order to create a realistic yet compelling Vision of your company’s future.
A well-designed Corporate Vision will draw your business toward an exciting future. It will inspire you, it will set a course for your future, and it will energize you into action. Of course, like your Corporate Mission, it too must be created in a spirit of unity if it’s going to work. You will have the final say, but it is wise to bring a cross-section (if not all) of the stakeholders into the process in some way. When people participate in a decision, they feel a sense of ownership toward it. People will work much harder to bring about a future they helped design.
Unlike your Corporate Mission, however, your Corporate Vision will be in a constant state of evolution. It’s a huge ongoing project, not something you can get feedback on once and be done with. Why? Because the world is not static. The information we use to predict our future with today could be completely different tomorrow. Success in today’s business world demands that we keep a vigilant watch on the future..
Some of the Benefits of a Corporate Vision
It will become your primary business planning tool. Keeping your goals consistently in front of your organization will help ensure that plans and strategies all move in the same direction.
It will become your primary business decision-making tool. By providing focus and direction it will keep your business from going in nonproductive or irrelevant directions.
It will reduce the number and magnitude of emergencies affecting your business. By keeping an eye on the future, you will have a much greater chance of heading off or avoiding potential problems.
It will free your business from the chains of mediocrity. By continuously drawing it toward an inspiring and challenging future, a corporate vision will encourage and enforce excellence.
It will increase the income generated by your business. By unifying the focus of your business, you will have all of the oars pulling in the same direction.
It will increase the value of your business. The simple existence of a Corporate Vision Statement shows potential investors that your business has a solid foundation.
Your Corporate Vision is defined in two related documents.
Your Vision Statement — Your Vision Statement is a statement that encapsulates your ‘big picture’ goal. Its purpose is to concisely represent your Corporate Vision to the world.
Your Strategic Objectives — The next part of the Corporate Vision process is the development of your Strategic Objectives. This is the document that outlines the specific goals of your business for everyone involved. Once everyone knows where your business is headed, they will have a better understanding of how and why their work plays a vital role in getting it there.
If your initial reaction to this is that it all seems like too much work, you’re not alone. Many business owners (in fact most people) feel that they are just too busy to spend time on things that don’t seem to produce an instant result or that don’t quickly solve an immediate problem.
Every good thing that you do for your business from this day forward will build on the solid foundation that you have started here. Keep forging ahead and your business will continue to grow.
If you find yourself being drawn back into your daily routine, keep this in mind...
- Your Corporate Vision is an important part of the process of unchaining yourself from the day-to-day work of your business and for allowing your business to reach its true potential.
- Doing something half way is usually no better than not doing it at all. Most CEOs agree that there is tremendous value to be had by any business (and business owner) from going through the exercise of creating a Corporate Vision. So keep an open mind, and give it a try. If you’ve been in business for years, then it’s time to revisit your dream.
Your Vision Statement (sometimes referred to as your Strategic Intent) is a short, carefully crafted statement that answers the question: “What is the ‘big picture’ direction of my company?” It represents your Corporate Vision to your clients, your employees, your suppliers and your lenders in a form that they can digest.
Just imagine handing an essay about your company to each of your clients. How many would read it? Probably not too many. How about your employees? They might read it if you told them to, but would they remember it? Hopefully they would absorb some of its ideas, especially if you involved them in its development, but a Vision Statement can become a daily reminder to everyone that your company is headed someplace special. It lets people know that your company is focused on continuous improvement. And that, in itself, is an important message.
Pfizer's Vision Statement
We will become the world's most valued company to patients, customers, colleagues, investors, business partners, and the communities where we work and live.
Write the first draft of your company’s Vision Statement here.
Now reread the Vision Statement you've just written. Does it succinctly and accurately tell people who your company is, what it stands for, and what it strives to be? If not, take another shot at it in the space below. Feel free to be a visionary here. Think “big picture.”
What will you do to make sure that your Vision Statement comes alive in your business? Do all stakeholders (employees, shareholders, partners, etc.) have access to your Vision Statement? What else can you do to bring it to life?
In this chapter you should have designed, shared, and made a plan to review your:
- Personal goals.
- Life Map.
- Personal Vision.
- Corporate Vision Statement.