Ask any student what he wants to do with his life and he will have a vision of what he wants to be. He might want to become a doctor, an engineer or a pilot. In any case, his vision defines what he wants to be and where he sees himself in the future.
A similar concept can be applied to organizations. If an organization is asked where it wants to be in the future and what is the meaning of the organizations existence, then the answer is the vision statement.
A vision statement is used by an organization to define and document the ambition of the organization. As in the case of humans, the vision can be far fetched. It is not necessary that each organization achieve its vision. However, the vision serves as a lantern in the dark and defines the reason for the existence of the organization.
Ideally, the vision statement should address three core criteria’s of an organization
1) What it does
2) What are its ambitions in the long term
3) Customer element – Most vision statements also bring in the customer element which is generally aimed at the greater good in society.
Let us take an example of McDonalds Vision statement
McDonald’s vision is to be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
What it does – McDonalds is a quick service restaurant
What are its ambitions – To be the worlds best quick service restaurant.
Customer element – Make every customer in every restaurant smile.
Some more examples of vision statement
GM – To be the world leader in transportation products and related services. We will earn our customers’ enthusiasm through continuous improvement driven by the integrity, teamwork, and innovation of GM people.
Honda – To Be a Company that Our Shareholders, Customers and Society Want
Walt Disney – To make people happy