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Strategic Planning: Create or Update Your Vision Statement and Vivid Description

Updating or creating a new vision statement can be one of the most exciting parts of strategic planning. Because your vision sets the direction for your entire planning effort, you want to ensure it paints a clear picture of where you want to go. Creating your vision statement can be achieved in a fashion similar to that of creating your mission and values statements.

Follow these steps to create your vision:

  1. Gather your senior staff and key employees together for a one- to two-hour meeting.

    Visioning is best done in a group setting. If your group is bigger than five people, break into small groups of three to five people to allow everyone to have a voice in the process.

  2. Generate a list of ideas and phrases based on the responses to these three questions:

    • What will our organization look like five to ten years from now?

    • What does success look like?

    • What are we aspiring to achieve?

    Allow the group to brainstorm, even if some of the ideas are totally wacky.

  3. Ask the group to pair ideas that have similar themes.

    Identify the ideas that most closely resemble the vision for the organization.

  4. Ask one or two people to develop a draft vision statement based on the condensed list of ideas.

    The vision statement should be short and use verbs phrases that are forward-looking, such as to be.

  5. Ask another one or two people to generate the vivid description based on all the themes identified.

    When developing the vivid description, use the future tense, such as “We will . . .”

  6. Bring the vision statement and vivid description back to the group.

    Revise until you have something everyone agrees on.

  7. Evaluate the vision statement against the elements of an effective vision statement.

    Make sure that your vision is as clear as possible.

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