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How Writing Vision Statements Can Help Companies Become Successful

June 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 168

Vision, mission statements and strategy are often confused terms at business terminology. In reality all of them are quite different and are complementary to each other.

A vision statement is basically what the leaders of an organization want the organization to become. It typically is forward looking to 10-15 year period.

On the other hand a mission statement explains why a company/organization exists. It defines the core role and the purpose of the company. Mission statements almost never change throughout the life of a company.

Finally strategy is the roadmap that defines how a company is going to reach its vision. Strategy is action oriented and lists the major initiatives that a company has to implement in order to reach its vision. Strategy is typically a 3-5 year roadmap and it may go through annual revisions based on changing market conditions, competitor reactions etc.

One thing that all successful companies share in common is to have a vision. Some companies make it official and call it vision statement while other successful companies don't make it official but they still have a vision. A company with a vision knows where it wants to go over the long term. Many business leaders and CEOs engage too much in short-term priorities and forget to take the actions that will help them realize their long-term goals. A vision statement and a strategy defined to achieve the vision ensures that a company is organizing its activities around achieving its long term goals.

One good example of vision and strategy in action is General Electric (GE) during the leadership of Jack Welch. When Jack Welch became CEO of GE which consisted of dozens of very different businesses, he developed the following visions for GE:

"Become the number one or number two in every market we serve and revolutionize this company to have the strength of a big company combined with the leanness and agility of a small company"

Of course having vision without strategy would not work. Then he rigorously implemented a strategy that divested businesses that weren't either market leader or number two. He implemented "6 Sigma" initiatives across all GE to drive efficiency and make GE a lean and agile organization. A strict performance management system was implemented and everyone at GE had numerical goals. Success of an individual was measured strictly by his achievement of personal goals.

Successful leaders are great not only at setting visions but also at "walking the talk" which really makes them successful.

The author of the article is a management consultant who has facilitated many companies to define their vision and strategy. His further thoughts about vision statements and strategy can be read at his personal blog at

Source: EzineArticles
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