It is important to start by highlighting the difference between mission and vision statements to avoid confusing the terms. A company's mission statement describes its current state and business objectives, while the vision statement describes the company's future goals.
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 and analyse some impressive real-world examples. 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
It's likely that you have come across a few bad Vision Statements in your working day and thankfully there are a few ways to tell the bad from the good.
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.
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 that make them inspiring and more memorable. If your company aspires to be customer-centric and forward-looking, these are some of the details you should remember before writing a vision statement.
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.
Coming up with your own vision statement is an exciting and important part of your company's journey. Make sure that it reflects your values accurately.
To find a compilation of some of best vision statement examples, read 125 company vision statements.
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, and inspiration to create the best business vision statement for your business.
So, how does yours compare?
We have identified the inherent differences between a company's mission and vision statements, some positive and negative examples, and how you can write your own inspiring statement for the future.
Creating your company's 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...