In need of a Vision Statement?

looking out to the sunset along a jetty

A vision statement is an aspirational statement: a vision statement defines the desired future position of a company.

What is a Vision Statement?

The company Vision Statement defines, if you like, the “pointy bit” of the organisation, and like the “pointy bit” of a ship, its structure allows it to move forwards by cutting through its surroundings.

When the vision is shared across the organisation, and that vision is adopted by all the people who make the company happen – and the vision is coherent – it initiates an alignment of thinking across the workforce that has them all looking in the same direction … that of the “pointy bit”!

To become the world’s go-to provider of Embedded Finance and Banking as a Service products, focussed on the current and future needs of the consumer.

This statement clearly sets the future scene whilst not being product specific. Over time, and especially in a fast-moving space like payments, the details may change, but the vision remains the same.

Why do I need a Vision Statement?

A solid Vision motivates a team because everyone can see the same destination, and everyone can feel the same direction of travel. The team starts at the same place and works together to reach the same goal.

Research has shown that organisations with a meaningful vision benefit from a higher level of employee engagement, and more engaged employees are usually more productive.

A weak Vision is not just a vision that lacks definition, a weak Vision is one that also doesn’t provide any direction.

  • Without direction, we see stagnation.
  • Without a vision of the future, we see the persistence of outdated processes.
  • Without definition, we see developments that don’t fit.
  • Without a clear vision, the future is uninspired.

Your Vision Statement is about your future, and this is important because without an eye on the future, you are destined to carry on recycling your present.

Now, I think we need to make the distinction here between companies that exist to “turn the handles” and maintain a consistent service, and those companies that survive because they continually “push the envelope” into new services and new territories. 

The reality is that the operation of most companies is going to fall somewhere in the middle. However, the message stands: without an eye on the future, the natural tendency is to look no further than the present.

How do I write a Vision Statement?

A Vision Statement provides a tangible mechanism for communicating the nature and ambitions of your organisation to all stakeholders. A Vision Statement is essentially for internal consumption, crystalising aspirations and providing direction.

A Mission Statement, on the other hand, is about the now; a Mission Statement is a concise representation of the state of a company’s business and its objectives in the present.

Aspirational Vision Statement

A Vision Statement is about the future and should be about building upon the current state of the company and its operation.  It may take some time to establish where your company is going, as opposed to simply reiterating what it’s doing now, but it’s worthwhile if you are going to establish something that is going to represent the “pointy bit”.

But just as aspirations may change, so too might the Vision Statement. It should therefore be viewed as a living document, reflecting the current vision of the future, that speaks directly to the employees. Its purpose is to help point everyone in the same direction, it follows that if the company direction changes, so too will the Vision Statement and too will the employee orientation.

How long is Vision Statement?

A Vision Statement should be concise. It may not cover everything but we’re not looking for long and drawn-out narratives. Focus on eliminating content and the need for content rather than adopting the view that bigger is better.  You should be looking at no more than a couple of sentences.

What goes into a Vision Statement?

There is no right answer, but think about what you want to be, the products you want to provide and where you would like to provide them.

Think about your customers and about your end-users, they aren’t necessarily the same thing, but you need to understand why you want to do what it is that you want to do.

You may also want to consider how the vision relates to the employees, as the primary purpose of the Vision Statement is to align the team.

The Vision Statement is a Summary.

Compressing the future into a couple of sentences is no mean feat, but it will pay dividends. Without a coherent vision, company direction is ill defined, which results in confusion and potential conflict.

A Vision Statement can be daring, distinct or even disagreeable, but its function is to define the future. If it aligns the workforce, then its development, implementation and internalisation has been successful.

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