Copeland Creative Blog

Why Your Vision Statement May Be Holding You Back — And What to Do About It

Ever felt let down by a company’s bland and empty vision statement? You know, the yawn- inducing, garden-variety type like, “We aim to be the best!” Or “We strive for excellence” without any insight into the future direction.
Yeah, don’t be that company.
If your vision statement is little more than a few generic words with no clear path forward, your business may be flying blind. You may need help to set yourself apart from the competition, excite your employees, and attract and retain the top talent you need to thrive.
But fear not, change is within reach. Below are some essential guardrails to transform your vision statement from generic to exceptional.

But first…

What is a vision statement?

Not to be confused with a mission statement, a vision statement is a short statement describing a company’s future aspirations and the significant impact it aims to have on the world.
It’s designed to inspire employees, attract investors, and ignite your customers’ imaginations. Put simply, it focuses on tomorrow and the company goal.
In comparison, the mission statement focuses on today and what you’re doing to achieve the vision.
You can learn more about mission statements here.

What makes a vision statement exceptional?

Like fingerprints, vision statements are distinctive to each company in terms of length, form, structure, and scope. But ultimately, they should reflect your personality and nail the essence of your company’s core values, like the ones below:
  • Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  • LinkedIn: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
  • BBC: “To be the most creative organization in the world.”
  • Microsoft: “To help people throughout the world realize their full potential.”
We recommend a vision statement be no more than two sentences or 15–30 words. That way, t’s more memorable and easier to recite.
Also, did you notice how each of the vision statement examples above is ambitiously inspiring yet still grounded in attainability?

How to write your world-class vision statement

Now you’ve identified what’s holding your vision statement back, here are some recommended best practices to move it forward:
Reflect on your company’s purpose
Begin by deeply understanding the core purpose of your company. What does it aim to achieve? And what impact does it want to make in the world? Think in bold, broad terms that transcend narrow objectives and embrace boundless possibilities.
Align with your company’s values
Ensure your vision statement aligns with the values and principles of your organization. This will strengthen the authenticity and credibility of your vision.
Be forward-looking and inspirational
Paint a compelling and inspiring picture of a meaningful and transformative future for your company to capture the imagination of your stakeholders.
Make it clear and concise
It’s crucial to keep your vision statement concise and clear so that a broad audience easily understands it. Avoid jargon, buzzwords, and clichés, ensuring your message is accessible and impactful.
Focus on unique differentiators
Highlight what makes your company distinct and remarkable. Identify your unique selling propositions and core competencies that set you apart from competitors.
Consider longevity and adaptability
While having a clear direction is essential, allow room for adaptation and flexibility as your company evolves. A robust vision statement should be relevant and applicable despite changing industry dynamics.
Engage stakeholders
Seek the input and feedback of key stakeholders such as employees, customers, and partners to ensure the statement resonates with all those connected to your organization.
Regularly revisit and revise
Remember, your vision statement isn’t a stagnant declaration. It’s a living, breathing document that should be continually revisited and refined as your company progresses. So, regularly evaluate its alignment with your goals and values to ensure it remains on course.
By adopting these best practices, you’ll equip yourself with the knowledge to create a visionary statement that propels you and your team to an extraordinary future.
Start shaping the future today. Contact us for help with defining and writing your vision statement.