Working Definition of a Vision Statement: “A vivid image of the future we seek to create.” It focuses on the future and what we are building. It can be one sentence, a short series of points, or a short paragraph at most. Not to be confused with a mission statement, which can be defined as "Who we are and what we do" and which usually reflects an organization’s core purpose, identity, values, and principle business aims. It focuses on today. Vision and mission statements are different but serve complimentary purposes. Who are vision statements written for? Vision statements are written for members of the organization (or employees), “customers” and future “customers.” It serves as a guiding principle for decision-making, planning and actions by providing direction. C. Davis Fogg likened a vision statement to a star by which to sail your ship. Some sample vision statements:
SHRM serves the needs of the human resource management professional by providing the most essential and comprehensive set of resources available. In addition, the Society is committed to advancing the human resource profession and the capabilities of all human resource professionals to ensure that HR is an essential and effective partner in developing and executing organizational strategy.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross... always there... touching more lives, in new ways... under the same trusted symbol.
Coca Cola Company
Our vision serves as the framework for our Roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth. People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be. Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs. Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value. Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities. Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities. Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
A personal computer in every home running Microsoft software. Contributed by Kellie Conn, SPHR, 2010-2011 TN SHRM state council director, Paradigm Group
Worksheet Instructions: Fill out the following sections. Let your thoughts flow freely. This is a brainstorming activity. There are no wrong answers. Try to stay focused on the future and to be broad with your thoughts. Action items or specifics are not needed at this step.
Words and Phrases What are some words and phrases that define our organization? Use a broad range of nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Answer the following questions imagining our organization three years from now. Why do we exist? What will we be known for? Who is our “customer”? What are our financial goals? What services will we provide to our “customers”? Why will individuals want to become a member of our organization? What is the culture of our organization? Three and Five Years from Now
Write a paragraph or two on where you see our organization in three years and five years. Think broadly and consider who we will serve, how we will serve them and what our two or three emphases will be on (such as professional development/education, networking, resources for members, etc.) as well as specifics such as the culture, number of members, our financial picture, specific services we will provide to our “customers,” etc.
In three years… In five years… Contributed by Kellie Conn, SPHR, 2010-2011 TN SHRM state council director, Paradigm Group