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Strategy Optician: Good & Bad Vision Statements

What makes a good or a bad strategic Vision Statement...? 👁️

  • Lucidity
  • 2 min read

For the few years leading up to 2020 many strategic planning documents used the title "2020 Vision" in order to be catchy and memorable - it makes sense, though arguably isn't very unique given we've now seen it on numerous marketing collateral, conference slides and articles.

In this article we'll take a brief look at what makes a good and bad company Vision Statement. 2020 Vision would have been a perfect title, but for the reason above we'll avoid it.

Vision Statements are tricky things to get right. They will take time... but that's no bad thing, as it's a really important part of developing your company strategy. If you'd like to learn more, you can check out our introduction guide on Vision Statements.

Bad Vision Statements

There are a few ways to tell a bad Vision Statement.

Bad Vision Statements are unbelievable

For example, "To sell food in a fast, friendly environment that appeals to price conscious, health-minded consumers..." was the Vision Statement for KFC in 2013. The same year that they had a mantra about appealing to health-minded consumers was the year they launched a burger that replaced the bun with fried chicken.

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Bad Vision Statements are not memorable.

The UK Gov Nuclear Vision Statement was 58 pages long - a small tip, if your Vision Statement requires an Executive Summary then it's probably too long...

Good Vision Statements

Good Vision Statements also have common attributes.

Good Vision Statements are inspiring and emotive

For example: "A world without Alzheimer's disease" is the vision for The Alzheimer's Association. There couldn't be a more perfect vision for such an organisation.

Good Vision Statements are relatable and engaging.

When Monzo appeared their statement was "Building a new kind of bank" - which I think for anyone who has used the "old kind of banks" would certainly get behind.

Creating A Vision Statement

There's a full guide on creating Vision Statement, so in this article we'll offer a simple infographic from some of the data from GetLucidity.com - nearly 1000 vision statements pulled together to give some high level statistics...

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So, how does yours compare?

Creating a Vision Statement can be an enjoyable process and it’s worth spending some time on it, because it underpins everything about your strategy. If you do it well, it'll give you a clear direction and provide all employees with clarity around where you're going.

Ah, annoying - looks like that 2020 Vision joke would have been a good ending to this article too...

Introduction to Vision Statements
Guide to creating a Vision Statement

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