Top 5 – Creating a Vision for Your Organisation

Does your business have BHAGs—Big Hairy Audacious Goals?  These hairy and audacious goals focus the attention of people because they are so challenging. These goals set the vision for the organisation and are one of the single biggest contributors to an organisations success.

In the hugely popular text Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, the authors James Collins and Jerry Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their beginnings to the present day from start-ups, to large corporations.  They all had BHAGs.

This week Happening People have put Vision under the microscope and provided you with our Top 5 on Creating a Vision for Your Organisation.

1. Why a Vision Statement?
In 2009 Harvard Business Review published an article after surveying tens of thousands of working people around the world, that asked, “What do you look for and admire in a leader (defined as someone whose direction you would willingly follow)?”  They found vision was an intrinsic requirement of a leader’s role with 72% of respondents requiring it of their leader. Therefore it stands to reason for a leader to lead their organisation, vision is paramount to their success in the role and the success of their organisation.

2. How is a Vision Statement different to a Mission Statement
A mission statement clearly states the purpose of the business.  It guides the businesses intent. It can last for many decades.   A Vision Statement provides a picture of what the business could be, it expresses what a business stands for, it continually evolves as the business realises each of its goals.  Vision provides guidance around what needs to be protected and how to stimulate progress toward a successful future.

3. How to write a Vision Statement
Firstly identify your organisation’s mission. Then uncover the real, humanistic value in that mission. Next, identify what you, your customers and other stakeholders will value most about how your organisation will achieve this mission. Drill down into the values that your organisation has. Finally, combine your mission and values, and polish the words until you have a vision statement that is energising, inspiring and motivates.
Keep these tips in mind when writing the vision; Write your vision in an aggressive manner to spark involvement and energise your people. Keep it brief so people can remember the vision and avoid words like best, premium or superior as they are subjective in nature.

4. How to Communicate the Vision
US Change Agents Ivy Sea (2012) suggest the following key points to consider when it comes time to communicate the vision,

  1. Explain the rationale for having a vision. Why has the organisation spent time, energy and money on developing and growing the vision?
  2. Describe the genesis of its creation. Stories are a very effective way to engage people. Use this communication technique to share the origin of the vision with the groups of people most affected by your organisation.
  3.  Share real-world examples of how the vision-in-action affects people: Employees, customers and community members are all positively affected by a true organisational vision.
  4.  Associate all programs and initiatives with the vision: When communicating a new project or updating stakeholders on project progress, be certain to include commentary on how the project contributes to or aims to achieve the vision. In essence, the vision will dictate all activity in the organisation.

5. Vision and Performance Management
When an organisation wants to effectively use performance management to enhance employee performance it is important they start with the vision.  Employees need to know very clearly what the vision is so they can align their performance with the vision to drive the business forward.  Paradoxically what really drives an employee’s performance isn’t the managers  vision or the  company’s vision, but their own vision. Employees can embrace the company vision but true individual performance comes from their own compelling vision, which should ultimately tie into the company vision.

Blinded by a lack of Vision in your workplace?  Let Happening People sharpen your view.
Happening People are in the business of helping good leaders become great by helping them create a awe inspiring vision.
Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to



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2 responses to “Top 5 – Creating a Vision for Your Organisation

  1. Dan

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

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