Everybody likes to know the future. Predicting future is impossible in a chaotic environment where changes are random. But determining where to go is possible with a plan and strategy. One of the important strategies for determining where to go is the vision of an organization. A vision is a road map for the future of your organization. So every organization must have a clear vision which makes its future and existence. Importance of vision is such that it determines the future of organization.
An organization which does not have a clear vision will not exist for a long. Some small companies or organizations have this problem. They took decisions and actions one after the other without having a particular direction or purpose. They are just jumping from one task to the other.
What is a vision?
Vision of an organization or company is a well articulated statement which gives the picture of future for that organization or company.
Nanus (1992) says that a vision serves as “a signpost pointing the way for all who need to understand what the organization is and where it intends to go.”
Even though a vision is mostly identified as a picture of future of your organization, it is actually more than that. It is also something that inspires, motivate and engage people. That is a vision is also that which molds meaning for the people of an organization.
Thus vision of an organization is a well articulated word which provides a picture of future, describes organization’s direction, describes the means of accomplishing it, guides, inspires, motivates and engage people in the organization.
That is a good vision statement have some characteristics.
Importance of a vision statement to an organization
A vision statement is much important to an organization. It provides meaning and purpose to the work of an organization. It says about why it needs to be exists in the society. Here I am pointing out some points which emphasis the importance of vision statement to an organization.
1. Vision is the image or picture of the future of your organization
Vision provides a picture for future of an organization. Based on vision future of an organization is determined. We can understand the future of an organization by its vision and how it integrated the vision with its strategy and business plan.
2. It encourages everybody to work for common cause
A clear vision is the hope for future of an organization so it can inspire everybody to work for a common cause. It combines all the activities of the organization in the same direction.
3. It is the reason for the existence of the organization in the society
A vision statement gives the significance and reason for the existence of the organization in the society. It answers the question why it needs to be exists in the society?
4. A vision provides the criteria for decision-making
The criteria for any action or decision will guide the organization to a particular direction. Management decisions should be made with proper criteria. The vision provides the criteria for the management of an organization in its decision-making.
A vision specifies what the organization will do and what the organization will not do for long-term. Thus helps management of the organization to take correct decision at correct time.
5. A vision helps to set and define the actions, goals, targets and objectives
A vision provides guidelines to set and define organization’s actions, goals, targets and objectives.
6. A vision helps in running a successful organization
Success is something which needs to define with a standard. A vision provides the standard in which the success of an organization can analyze.
A common direction which is provided by the organization’s vision helps the organization to get success. Without a vision the leaders will be in chaotic situations who don’t know which direction it should go.
7. A clear vision helps the organization to overcome difficult situations
Every organization has to face difficult situations. But a clear vision helps the organization to come out from the difficulties.
One of the examples of this is how Johnson & Johnson overcome their Tylenol crisis. Their vision they call their credo saved them during the difficult situations.
8. It helps in defining what the organization has to be achieved in future
Vision statement tells about the future achievement of the organization. So a clear vision helps to define what has to be achieved by the organization during a long-term period.
9. A clear vision provides a starting point of any change
A clear vision can provide a change. Sometimes a vision doesn’t have initial followers but a clear vision always attracts people and can be a cause for a change.
Steve Job of Apple computers believe in his vision to change the world and become the epicenter of the change. This leads to number of innovation that changing the world.
10. Bring all in same frame of reference
A vision brings all including owners, managers, leaders, employees, well wishers, customers etc. of an organization in a same frame of reference. It helps all to go for a particular common cause. So there will not be any confusion.
A vision helps the company to combine its employees, products, customers, markets and technology to provide a direction for its future.
The future of an organization is depends on its vision. What it can contribute to the society? Why it needs to exist?
A vision is not simply a statement made of beautiful articulated words. The importance lies in the implementation part that is turning the vision into reality. Integrating vision with the strategy and ensuring its implementation in the business plan is important.