Month: August 2014

Is there such a thing as a bad vision statement?

Is there such a thing as a bad vision statement?

Is there such a thing as a bad vision statement?   In general, I think when a company has a vision of being all things to all people – not possible.  On the other hand, a vision that is outdated.

According to Nayab (2010), “Poor vision statements usually:

  • use generic phrases instead of developing the organization’s “winning idea” or something that makes the organization different from its competitors, or the key measures of success
  • confuse the visions with goals and objectives, and describe the process or the method rather than the outcome, without providing a measure of success
  • are written in the future tense, signifying that the present is entirely different
  • do not have a powerful introduction that captures the memory
  • do not evoke emotion or passion
  • speculate rather than plan

Some examples of bad vision statements phrases that find application in many vision statements include:

  • “Maximize our customers’ ability to get their work done”

“Develop, deploy, and manage a diverse set of scalable and strategic knowledge management tools to serve our customers, improving the possibility of overall satisfaction among our diverse customer profiles.”

The first example is too broad and does not specify how the organization plans to help customers get their work done. The second example resorts to the use of complex language but still fails to convey any substantial or strong idea. It still uses generic phrases, and remains broad in nature.

Analysis of Some Corporate Vision Statements

Coca-Cola’s vision statement reads as follows:

“Our vision serves as the framework for our Road map and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth.

o   People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

o   Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.

o   Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.

o   Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.

o   Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

o   Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.”

One glaring point of note in this vision statement is that it speaks in general purposes. If the fact that this is Coca Cola’s vision statement is not mentioned, this vision statement would pass for just about any corporate or non-government organization into the business of beverage (and for just about any organization by replacing the word “beverage”.)

Another sample corporate vision statement is of General Motors (GM) :

“GM’s vision is to be the world leader in transportation products and related services. We will earn our customers’ enthusiasm through continuous improvement driven by the integrity, teamwork, and innovation of GM people.”

One issue with this vision statement is the presence of words such as “enthusiasm” and even “related services” open to various interpretations, and the use of many generic phrases without describing what exactly sets out GM from other companies who also strive for continuous improvement through integrity, teamwork, and innovation.

In contrast, Microsoft’s summary vision statement is short and powerful:

“There will be a personal computer on every desk running Microsoft software.”

We will earn our customers’ enthusiasm through continuous improvement driven by the integrity, teamwork, and innovation of GM people.”

One issue with this vision statement is the presence of words such as “enthusiasm” and even “related services” open to various interpretations, and the use of many generic phrases without describing what exactly sets out GM from other companies who also strive for continuous improvement through integrity, teamwork, and innovation.

In contrast, Microsoft’s summary vision statement is short and powerful:

“There will be a personal computer on every desk running Microsoft software.”

eHam.net has a similarly powerful vision statement:

“To build the largest and most complete Amateur Radio community site on the Internet”

The vision statement is the soul of any business. A bad vision statement generates confusion, leads to a dysfunctional organization, and fails to elicit the full emotional involvement of the stakeholders.” (Nayab, 2006).

Think of the vision statement your company has.  It is motivating or not?  Does it meet the requirements for a good vision statement?  Do you even know if your company has a vision statement?

Nayab, N. (2006) How Solid Is Your Vision Statement? Examples of Some Bad Ones.  Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/office/entrepreneurs/articles/98285.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Carmel Speruggia, 0 comments
Six Steps in Creating a Vision

Six Steps in Creating a Vision

According to research, “As a leader, it is your job to direct your team to pursue the vision of a company therefore, in many cases, team members will be so excited about the potential for a better future that they will actually provide some of the main motivation to get things done.

Steps to take in creating a vision:

1) Reflect on the current state of your business.

2) Create a vision for what your business could look like.

3) Get input from mentors, outside professionals, key employees, and respected competitors.

4) Break that vision down into manageable and actionable lists, priorities and action plans.

5) Communicate your vision and your plan to your team, your suppliers and your clients.

6) Assign action plans to yourself and team members.

 

Leadership, is the ability to evaluate the current state of affairs, take responsibility for how things are, get over the regret for any failures that happen, create a vision for a better future and devise a plan to make the vision come to life” (Voth, 2010).

 

What would you add to the steps presented here for creating a vision?

 

Voth, M. (2010) Creating the vision for a better future: Who is the leader of your team?
 

Posted by Carmel Speruggia in Team Development, 0 comments