Vision (also known as vision statement) represents the highest ambitions of the company, team, or product. It helps to make and manage the right decisions based on a shared vision.
What Is Vision?
A vision's purpose is to unify and motivate people and teams towards achieving an ultimate goal.
An effective vision should be future-oriented, clear, inspirational, unique, genuine, and aware of challenges.
Mission and values can be incorporated into a single, impactful vision statement that offers the where, why and how that guides strategy.
A company vision statement describes what the company aspires to be. It helps the company to define its goals in simple terms.
A team vision helps define what the team should strive towards in terms of forward momentum. It defines what the team aims to be.
A product vision can be thought of as the product's mission statement. It helps to ensure that you have a realistic product strategy, and helps to motivate the team working on your product.
Best Examples of Strong Vision Statement
"Our 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."
"To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."
"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
Why You Might Want A Vision
A company vision statement is future-based and gives inspiration and direction to an organization's workers.
A team vision creates a common vision that's built upon three factors: why it exists, what it's trying to achieve, and how the team will do it.
A product vision clarifies the purpose of a product and what it aims to offer to users and customers. It also supports the product owner in decision-making throughout the product buliding process.
As can be seen in the section above, Amazon's vision statement is clear about being a place where people can shop online for "anything they might want to buy online."
As an e-commerce giant, Amazon makes its revenue through the following ways:
- Amazon.com store (sells virtually everything--electronics, clothes, food, video games, ebooks, print books, and more)
- Amazon Kindle and Amazon Echo (hardware and consumer electronics)
- Amazon Web Services (cloud infrastructure)
- Amazon Prime (subscription service that includes free shipping and unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes)
This is a great example of how a strong company vision steers an organization forward to achieve its ambitious goals.
Problems Vision Helps to Solve
How to Create A Vision Statement
Keep the following general tips in mind when crafting a vision:
- Don't ramble. A good vision statement is succinct through accurate, clear wording.
- Have a long-term view. It needs to have an emphasis on the future.
- Be unique, but not too specific. A vision that's limited in scope will not be anything to aspire to when several years have gone by.
- Be clear. An effective statement will not be vague on what the company, team, or product stands for.
This section goes into a bit more detail on crafting a vision in the context of a company, team, or product.
Tips on forming a company vision:
- Use jargon-free language, be positive, and focus on success. The statement needs to have some passion in it in order to inspire others.
- Use concise language that's not weighed down by industry jargon.
- Align the vision with business goals and company values.
- Have a plan to share the vision statement with employees.
Tips on forming a team vision:
- Define your core values.
- Set a main goal. This explains what the team's purpose is and what its influence is.
- The remaining goals are short-term and realistic which help keep the team coordinated and inspired.
- Incorporate mission (what you are trying to achieve) and strategy (how the mission will be achieved) into the team vision. They will then know three things: why the team exists, what it's trying to achieve, and how they will do it.
Tips on forming a product vision:
- Focus on the customer or end user. They are the reason for the existence of your product.
- Be ambitious, but not impractical. The vision needs to be something tangible that can be achieved.
- Be unique. How is your product different from other products out there from competitors?
- Look ahead. What do you want people to associate your product within 1, 3, 5 years' time?
Common Pitfalls of Vision
A vision statement that has too much jargon or vague wording will not be effective. It needs to be easily understandable by everyone in the company or team.
A vision that is based on measures like profits or saving money will not inspire teams to do their best work. It needs to describe a significant impact on people's lives for team members to feel motivated to perform at a consistently high level.
A vision that is not specific will also be inefffective. If it is not clearly defined, it can hinder progress as the team or company efforts will more likely be scattered.
Lastly, vision statements are sometimes not implemented. It should be displayed and talked about regularly so that everyone is on board with progressing towards the desired vision.
Resources for Vision
- Productboard: How to write and communicate an effective product vision
- Your Dictionary: Best Examples of Strong Company Vision Statements
- Business News Daily: What Is a Vision Statement?
- Scrum: 10 Tips for Product Owners on the Product Vision
- Kiss The Frog Now: Use This Framework To Develop Your Team Vision Statement
- Indeed: Vision Statements: Tips, Example and Importance
- Vantage Leadership Consulting: Pitfalls of Establishing a Company Vision - What Could Go Wrong?
- Chron: What Makes Vision Statements Ineffective?
- Investopedia: 6 Companies Owned by Amazon