A vision statement for a company or organization focuses on the potential inherent in the company's future, or what they intend to be. While a vision statement might contain references to how the company intends to make that future into a reality, the “how” is really part of a "mission" statement, while the vision statement is simply a description of the “what,” meaning, what the company intends to become.
To find the best examples of vision statements, consider these statements made by some of the world's most innovative and successful companies:
“We intend to provide our customers with the best online shopping experience from beginning to end, with a smart, searchable website, easy-to-follow instructions, clear and secure payment methods, and fast, quality delivery.”
From this statement example, you can clearly tell that this company is an online retailer. You can also tell they have put thought into the statement by making a list of goals. They don't simply say that they want to be “the best” online shopping site – they give a list of ways in which they intend to do that. This is a quality vision statement because it outlines the specific future they intend to create for themselves, but it doesn't give specific steps on how they will do it (better saved for a mission statement).
“Our salon will change the way you think about a haircut. Full service comfort, friendly staff, a relaxing atmosphere, and the best prices in town give you an experience that will leave you glowing both inside and out.”
Once again, it's clear from this vision statement what type of business is behind it. It's also a good, clear list of goals, without being too specific.It paints an overall picture of a pleasant, successful business that the company hopes to become, and since the vision statement isn't just a vision of your future – it's also a vision you're presenting to your customers about who you are – it's important that it do just that.
"We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that's not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don't settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we're wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well."- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer (Quoted on CNN Money.com).
"PepsiCo's responsibility is to continually improve all aspects of the world in which we operate - environment, social, economic - creating a better tomorrow than today. Our vision is put into action through programs and a focus on environmental stewardship, activities to benefit society, and a commitment to build shareholder value by making PepsiCo a truly sustainable company." (Quoted from Pepsi Co.com.)
"Our [Amazon's] 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." (Quoted from Amazon.com)
Sometimes a vision statement can be summarized in one sentence.
Local companies might aspire to be the best company in the town or to offer locally grown produce. A restaurant may have this vision statement: To offer fresh and delicious food to our customers along with a fun-filled dining experience.
Vision statements may also be longer as well.
Some examples include:
In each of these examples, the vision statement helps to define goals, creating something to work towards in the future.
Looking at these vision statement examples should give you a good jumping off point for knowing what a vision statement is and how to write one. Vision statements are a challenge for many people because they aren't sure what form the statement is supposed to take.
Writing a good vision statement isn't difficult. Think about what your business does and what, in an ideal world, you would like it to do and how you would like to appear to the outside world.Consider the services and attributes that your company provides, then imagine how it would be if you provided the very best version of them possible. List those visions, and incorporate them into a brief statement that gives a good overview of the kind of image you want to represent.
Understanding your goals and being able to state them clearly is the first step toward making them happen.
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