Visioning: Focusing in on Your North Star

Forming a strategic vision should provide long-term direction, delineate what kind of enterprise the company is trying to become, and infuse the organization with a sense of purposeful action. Vision serves as a unifying focal point for everyone in the organization — like a North Star. In fact, your vision statement needs to be something you can achieve at some point in the future. Visions are also referred to as big, hairy, audacious goals, or BHAGs, a term made popular by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their Harvard Business Review article “Building Your Company's Vision.”

image A vision statement can be as far reaching as 100 years or as short as 5 years. Some people think that if you're not planning for 20 years in the future, you're being too shortsighted. Others say that the world is changing too quickly to plan more than a few years out. Either way, your vision statement needs to work for your company and the industry you operate in. I recommend developing a vision statement that's far reaching but attainable. If you attain it in a shorter amount of time, congratulations! But if you don't push your thinking out far enough, you find yourself being too tactical in your strategic planning.

Your vision should include:

  • A vision statement: A short, concise statement of your organization's future state
  • A vivid description: A long list of words ...

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