New Year’s Resolution: A New Vision Statement

| December 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

I hope you took my last post to heart and planned out a little time to retracing the successes of last year. I also hope you are taking more time to spend with your family too. But if you are anything like me, I am sure you will be thinking about the business anyways. It’s in our founder’s DNA. So if you are going to be thinking about the business, I am going to give you homework: Come up with a revised Vision Statement.

A vision statement creates focus for a company by highlighting the potential that is inherent in the company’s future. Let me simplify it further: a vision statement is what the company wants to be. An ambitious vision statement will force your staff to go the extra step to accomplish a better version of the company.

Ari Weinzweig, co-founder and CEO of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, lays out the basic questions the vision statement will answer:

  • What does our organization look like?
  • How big is it?
  • What are we famous for?
  • Why does anyone care about what we do?
  • How do people who work here feel about their jobs?
  • How do I, as the founder, feel about the business?
  • What’s my role in it?

Write these questions down on a piece of paper or enter them into your phone. Go on a walk and think about them. Come up with the answers as you work out or you sit in holiday traffic. If you are just starting out in business, try to rewrite the entire vision. If you have been operating for a few year, narrow the scope of this re-vision. For example, come up with a vision for a new line of service or a new product to launch. Maybe you can expand the current business to new areas.

Some advice I can offer in the process is this. Try to be detailed. Visualize everything: the timeframe for success, the layout of the office, the promotional materials, even the clothes your employees wear. Rewrite and reframe the vision. Then take the best and workshop it with a mentor that can give you advice on how to achieve the vision.

I’m going to give the last words to Paul Morin, a serial entrepreneur and writer: a vision statement “gives one a sense of mission, and it’s specific enough to put the customer right at the center of the action. It’s something you can rally around. You can get behind this and feel like it gets to not just the vision of the company, but its mission as well.”

Have a great Holiday!

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