I received an email from Joanne who owns an interior design consultancy in Toronto who asked a series of questions about her Vision for her business.
One of the more intriguing ones was:-
“I realize that making the company’s vision statement live is the key to how we fulfill the promise of our unique selling proposition. But I’m finding it hard to explain what I mean in our vision statement to my team and to customers. It seems so clear to myself what I want to achieve at the end of the day but have I got the wording wrong in the statement?”
Her company’s vision statement reads “We believe in taking both our customers and ourselves to the front edge of design so that we both benefit from leading the pack.”
Not a bad vision statement in my book. It describes a journey that involves both the business and the customer so that it creates the feeling of mutually beneficial relationship; it sets their value of being at the forefront of design which also sets the scene for the customer that says “don’t come to us if you want lace and frills”; and it feels inspirational and inviting. When I read that statement I see energy, innovation, and adventure.
No, I don’t think Joanne has “the wrong wording”. So back to her question, how does she explain what she means in the vision statement to her team and her customers?
Before I answer that question let me talk a little about why you need to make your vision statement “live”. Many businesses make the mistake of writing an exciting vision statement and putting it on the wall, but not making it come alive in the business.
Your vision statement is your “brand” and it should guide how you run your business, how you deal with your customers, how you behave day to day and why you are doing it. If your team members understand what it actually means, it takes away all the little micro-decisions they have to make because the vision spells out the way. No longer do they have to get authorisation or seek management advice about who to hire – they refer to the vision, understand what type of person is required, and make the decision. If they are concerned about whether or not to offer a customer extended payment terms, they refer to the vision and if they understand what it says about the desired customers and what service means, they make the decision.
In this way, a well understood vision statement empowers people.
So, how do you quantify a vision statement in such a way that everyone understands how it applies in almost any given situation? This video explains how.
If you choose your perspectives well, and if you really drill down in each perspective, the resulting description or answer to the question “once we achieve our vision how will we…” lays out what your vision statement means.
The website https://teikoh.com have worksheets and templates to help you describe your vision and quantify it, along with many other templates, tools and resources to create strategy, provide leadership and grow your business. Start the conversation, go to our Facebook page and leave a comment.
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