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Creating a Company Vision that Excites You AND Your Employees

It is hard to pick up a business book and not be instructed that your company needs a vision and a mission. The problem is very few ever show you how to actually write vision and mission statements that inform your strategy and help you establish a rhythm of execution.



First, I am not a fan of your typical vision and mission statements. They are often useless, wordy and try to include all the buzz words the leaders think are important to say.


I am a fan of the work done by Collins and Porras in Build to Last. What makes their framework introduced in Chapter 11, so powerful is that it is an integrated set of two components that together provide guidance and inspire.


The first element, Core Ideology, is your Core Purpose and Core Values—the why you exist and the values you will not give up no matter what happens.


The second element is your Envisioned Future which is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and Vivid Description. The Vivid Description is literally a description of what your business will look like when you hit your BHAG; a goal so big and hairy that you only have a 50-70% chance you will achieve it.


Why a vision? If you are going to invest your life into building a business, don’t you think you should decide what it will look like when you are done? That is what a vision gives you.


Without it:

  • you cannot have a plan to get to someplace you haven’t decided to go

  • you have no guard rails to make sure you don’t drive off the road and into a ravine

  • you have no way to determine where to invest your time and money and why

  • your employees have absolutely no idea what your company is about, where it is going and why it is important

  • you cannot attract great employees and leaders


With it:

  • you will come to work motivated to make your vision, your dream a reality, you do not have a job, you are on a quest

  • you have guide rails to help you make deliberate decisions and set proper priorities

  • you know why, where and when to invest in people, processes and products

  • your employees know what your company is about, how they should behave and why it is important to the world

  • you can attract A-Players that share your passion and want to part of your movement


Get a copy of Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, 1994. Then start dreaming about the future you want to create.

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