A vision statement provides a concrete concept for people outside the Admin Team, especially employees. It is to understand the meaning and purpose of the business. The vision statement describes the desired long-term results of the company’s efforts. As an example, an early Microsoft vision statement was “a computer on every desk and in every home.”
Forbes says that ‘employees who find their company’s vision meaningful have engagement levels of 68%.” And engaged employees are more productive, and they are more effective corporate ambassadors in the greater community. Given this impact that a vision statement can have on a company’s success, especially long-term, and even its bottom line, it is worth taking the time to craft a statement that synthesizes your ambition and mobilizes your staff. Before putting the statement together, however, you need to be able to concisely answer the following questions.
What do you do?
This question is either very simple or very complicated. If it is the former, you should have no problem answering the question and making it concise. If it is the latter, very complicated, then you will struggle through this, but it will be your most defining moment as a company. Pun intended.
We are going to take a COMPLETELY make believe company to work with.
Optometrist Office called “2C & 2B Seen”. Optometry is the practice of examining the human eye for visual defects and then prescribing a corrective course of action. 2C & 2B Seen was founded by an elderly woman who started the office out of her home. In order to help the less fortunate in her neighborhood, she made her appointments free and only made money when someone purchased glasses or contacts. What many of her clients didn’t know was that she was bullied in school because she wore glasses with cracked frames. Her family couldn’t afford to give her better.
So the question of Vision is two fold, What do you do? One is physically. 2C & 2B Seen examines people’s eyes and authorizes corrective actions. The none physical is that they hope to do so for less so that the less fortunate are always taken care of. So when 2C & 2B Seen realized that they needed a Vision of there own, they sat down and asked- What do we do? The aforementioned was their answer.
Where are you going?
This question requires an answer for the what and where you’ve been, but goes further. It asks, what are you planning to do with those answers. Your active Administrators and Department Heads should be involved in this portion of the process. You might want to move in a completely different direction, and that’s ok. You also may want to double down in the direction you are in, and that’s ok too!
“The vision is about your goals for the future and how you will get there, whereas the mission is about where you are now and why you exist,” Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder of Mavens & Moguls said. It is a global strategic marketing and consulting firm. “The vision should motivate the team to make a difference and be part of something bigger than themselves.”
The most important thing is that you want this Vision Statement to fulfill your end goals or at least your hopes for your end goals. 2C & 2B Seen took their “What” question and determined to continue what the founder had originally pursued. To help those in need to see better and to improve the way they were seen. How lucky for them, it was in their name too.
SO the CEO and COO got together with their Department heads to brainstorm concepts. Eventually they settled in on was, “2 help those with visual needs and 2 show them that they have never been unseen.” A vision, a simple concept of where they want to go. This doesn’t have an ‘time frame’ but it is an ongoing concept of where they want to be going as a company and as individuals working with the company.
How do you quantify success?
In the case of Microsoft, “a computer on every desk and in every home,” was meant to continue until they either changed directions or until the vision was complete. Well, of course, most homes have a computer and counting phones, tablets, desktops and laptops, I would say Vision Accomplished. Their new and current corporate vision is “to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.” They saw the Vision to completion and then worked through this process again to determine ‘Next Steps’.
You need to make a firm decision on how you will gauge the success of your Vision Concept. 2C & 2B Seen decided to use, as their Vision Statement, “To improve our community’s ability to see, both outwardly and inwardly.” The administrators decided that the best way to quantify, or gauge, the success in this would be to look at the issue at hand. 50% of Adult Americans have worse than 20/20 Vision. Using this data, they made some assumptions that nearly 28,000 adults in their neighborhood had vision needs. Also, because 26% of their neighborhood lived below the poverty level, that left nearly 7,000 adults without the appropriate funds to secure the help they needed.
Therefore, 2C & 2B Seen decided that the fruition of their mission would be to service 50% of them, 3,500 new patients within the next 10 years.
Theoretical to Practical Application
Putting their Vision Concept into practice. 2C & 2B Seen started by forming a team of two Marketing students to reach out to shelters and non-profit assistance programs to find the people that needed their assistance. At first they were paying the Marketing team to spend three to four hours a week on the project. Within six months, the entire staff was doing volunteer hours each week to help make the project a success. Within the first year, 2C & 2B Seen had pulled in 1,800 new patients who were low income and couldn’t afford the help. They gave them checkups and often had the ability to offer them corrective resources.
By the end of year two, they had added another 1,800 new patients. A volunteer team of thirty-five people had formed to push the project along. Community based groups were coming together to offer their services and funds. To keep the project moving, and some churches and shelters partnered with them to offer more than just glasses, but food boxes an clothing as well. Changed by a simple Vision concept.
Projects like these are the way businesses can truly give back to the American People. One person… one changed life at a time. Helping one another out as we turn our VISION to a brighter tomorrow.
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