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Ultimate Guide to Vision Statements

Everything you need to know about Vision statements in one place... 👁️

  • Lucidity
  • 7 min read

“A world where every company has the perfect Vision statement”

That’s the Vision statement for this Ultimate Guide to Vision Statements. A slightly meta way to begin this article, but hopefully it’s a helpful demonstration of what a Vision statement actually is to people.

A Vision is a statement of what you intend to achieve in the future. It lets people know the difference your company will make to the world.

Writing that perfect Vision statement can be tricky. You want your Vision to be inspiring, engaging and informative. It needs to be a guide for your whole strategy and team. It’s the statement that sits above all of your KPI dashboards, reporting, or metrics.

Despite it being a simple sentence, your statement can take a while to get it right. Thankfully this is where our Ultimate Guide to Vision Statements is here to help! What follows is a collection of resources all around company vision statements.

Enjoy…

Beginners Guide To Vision Statements

Link: Introduction to Company Vision Statements

If you’ve never heard of a Vision Statement before then this is the article for you. It covers all the basics around the topic including:

  • Definition of a Vision
  • Why you should have a Vision
  • What to consider when writing
  • Some simple examples

Start with this guide if you’re completely new to the topic, but if you’ve encountered a Vision Statement before moving on to some of the other resources in this guide.

How To Write A Vision Statement

Link: How to create a Vision statement in 5 steps

There’s actually a step by step process you can follow to create a good Vision. It takes time but this simple guide will help you come up with a brilliant Vision for your company. It includes:

  • 5 steps to creating a Vision
  • A guide around generating a word cloud
  • Some examples to help you along the way

This is a key guide if you’re going through the process of a Vision creation or revamp. The guide works by yourself or as a team, either way you’ll end up with a great statement you can share to inspire the team.

Good and Bad Vision Characteristics

Link: Good and Bad Vision Statements

There are some really bad Vision statements out there. Either they’re too wordy, or too boring, or not really themselves a Vision. Thankfully, we can share some simple ways to make sure your Vision is a good one.

In this resource we take a look at:

  • Common traits of a bad Vision
  • Common traits of a good Vision
  • Examples of both good and bad Vision
  • Some benchmarking on Vision statements

It’s worth checking your own Vision against the benchmarking in this resource and the traits of both good and bad statements. It’s really important, as creating a bad Vision will either be pointless or detrimental to your business.

Example Vision Statements

Here are some example Vision statements. We’re not saying they are good or bad, we’re giving you a range of real life Visions so you can see the type of sentence that companies develop…

We seek to save a planet, a world of life. Reconciling the needs of human beings and the needs of others that share the Earth
WWF

A world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments
Amnesty International

Our vision is a world where deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss do not limit or label people, and where people value their hearing.
Action On Hearing Loss

To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors
The American Red Cross

Our doors will always be open to families in need throughout the South East, by being a much loved and supported charity.
Cherry Trees

The McKenzie River Trust is committed to a future in which intact, functioning ecosystems provide clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and productive natural landscapes throughout western Oregon.
McKenzie River Trust

We are dedicated to improving our customers' performance by applying our knowledge of friction management and power transmission to delivered unparalleled value and innovation all around the world.
Timken

The vision of DuPont is to be the world's most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer and healthier life for people everywhere.
DuPont

Leading the world in integrated energy services, energy equipment, engineering, construction, and maintenance. Supported by four key goals: Technological Leadership; Operational Excellence; Innovative Business Relationships; Dynamic Workforce.
Halliburton

To be the first choice of consumers and customers around the world by bringing together innovative ideas, continuous process improvement and people who make things happen.
Sara Lee

Making Great Food. Making a Difference.
Tyson Foods

Abundant food and a healthy environment.
Monsanto

Creating Value with Every Ounce.
Newmont Mining

Retail Automotive Industry Leadership
Sonic Automotive

Absolute Guest Satisfaction.
McCormick’s and Schmick’s

To build our future upon the strength of our Research & Development
ArcelorMittal

Be the safest, most customer-focused and successful transportation company in the world.
Norfolk Southern

We will build long-term shareholder value through competitive returns and profitable growth.
Burlington Resources

Our Vision is to be The Best Forest Products Company in the World and a Global Leader Among All Industries.
Weyerhaeuser

Our vision is to be the first-choice provider for customers seeking energy solutions in the complex and changing energy marketplace.
Constellation Energy

Our Vision is to become the premier energy company in the Northeastern United States. The Northeast region represents a significant part of the country’s population and gas and electricity consumption.
Keyspan

Our vision is delivering happiness to customers, employees and vendors.
Zappos

To be the leading international petroleum company in China.
Conoco Philips China

To provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.
Khan Academy

Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.
Bulletproof

World leadership in digital solutions for the networked society.
Texas Instruments

Pioneering global ideas for cleaner, quieter and safer transportation.
Tenneco Automotive

To deliver the world’s most innovative wireless solutions.
Qualcomm

To substantially reduce traffic accidents, fatalities and injuries.
Autoliv

High–tech solutions for professional farmers feeding the world.
Agco

The compelling partner providing seamless business products solutions.
United Stationers

Changing The World Without Changing The Earth.
BioBag

Our vision is to be one of the top-performing property and casualty companies in the industry.
Safeco

Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
LinkedIn

To provide access to the world's information in one click.
Google

Our vision is to create a global powerhouse in consumer and commercial products through innovation and a portfolio of powerful brands that people rely on where they work, live, play and train.
Newell Ruddermaid

Progressive's vision is to reduce the human trauma and economic costs associated with automobile accidents. We do this by providing our customers with services designed to help them get their lives back in order again as quickly as possible.
Progressive

To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.
Prezi

And if you’d like more you can find more by reading some example Charity Vision Statements.

Tools to Write A Vision Statement

Word
Word can be a powerful tool in creating a Vision statement due to the ease of editing the words on screen. It’s downfall is the lack of structure and consistency, but when it comes to simply having something to edit and jot down ideas, Word does a good job.

Vision Statement Generators
You may find online some systems that generate Vision statements for you. They’re almost always awful and we’d recommend you avoid them, as the end results are often reasonably soulless. At best use them to get some ideas but don’t put your whole Vision in the hands of an automated rule based system.

Vision Statement Software
Howdy! Of course, Lucidity is the world’s most advanced strategy management software! So yes, we have a whole system that will help you step-by-step develop your Vision statement. Without the soulless rule generation too… double win. 🙌

Vision Statement Tips & Advice

Here are some great short tips on building a Vision:

Keep it short
A Vision statement that goes on too long isn’t memorable or engaging, it can be quite the turn off. Keep it limited to one or two sentences and remember the average Vision has around 17 words.

Make it memorable
A Vision should be easy for your team to remember. Part of this is making it short, but it’s also about making the statement engaging and meaningful.

Don’t be generic
A Vision has to be reflective and meaningful, so avoid it being too generic or using words that have no relevance to your company or industry.

Be clear
Similar to the generic, make sure you’re clear about what your Vision actually is moving towards.

Try to be emotive
The best Vision statements prompt some emotional response. That’s often why charities have the best Vision statements. An emotive Vision will resonate more with your team, your customers, and the world.

Focus on the future
Hopefully this one goes without saying, but your Vision should be future focused!

Be bold
This is a Vision statement so be bold with your forward-looking statement. Again, something charities are really good at doing with their statement. “A world without Alzheimer’s… “

Vision Statement Advice From Experts

We’ve asked a few experts for their take on strategy, here’s what they had to say:

“Your statement needs to be genuinely visionary! Which means that it needs to inspire all stakeholders of the organisation, staff, shareholders, customers and suppliers.”
René Moolenaar

“Identify what you want out of the business other than the money. What vision do you have for the work you want to do and the impact you want to make?”
Dr. Carlos Saba, Founder of Happy Start-up School

“Having a clear vision and communicating it is key, use data to develop it but keep your gut feeling and emotional intelligence in play.”
Chris Adams, CTO of Madgex

“I believe in Audience Research > Vision (the world you want) > Mission (what you do that is ultimately about achieving that world) > Objectives > Goals. Across all of these will be your values, how you go about your work, and what your character as opposed to purpose is.”
Nick Posford, CEO of CICRA

Vision Statement Benchmarks

Here are some fun benchmarks about Vision statements – how does yours compare?

  • The average Vision has 17 words…
  • …but some are over 100 words 🤦
  • The automotive industry has the smallest Vision statements, averaging just 8 words
  • Utility companies tend to have the largest Vision statements, averaging 33 words
  • Charities are most likely to have a Vision statement
  • The most common words in a Vision statement are “world”, “people”, and “customer”
  • American Vision statements tend to be 15% larger than the UK counterparts
  • 16% of Vision statements have the words “Our Vision is…” or equivalent
  • 26% of Vision statements refer to the world
  • 2% of Vision statements state they are international in their aspiration

Summary

Unlike other tools such as SWOT, PESTLE or Five Forces, a Vision is very emotive, subjective and can be difficult to agreement on.

There’s no right or wrong way to get to the perfect Vision, it can depend on the way your company works, your culture, your team and your own desires for the business. However, what is common is that the process of creating a Vision should be a fun and exciting journey – after all, you’re shaping the future!

Hopefully this guide has helped you in developing your Vision. If it has please let us know – we love to hear from people how have created their Vision statements!

We've created a new Guide to Vision Statements eBook for you to download.

In this eBook you’ll learn about:

  • Summary of Vision statements
  • Examples of Vision Statements for several industries
  • Step-by-step guide on completing a Vision statement for your company

Download the Vision Statement Guide Book

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