Charlene LambertWelcome back, and Happy 2020! While ‘20/20’ is a term used to measure normal visual acuity, January 2020 for entrepreneurs must also be the perfect moment to fine-tune our ‘business vision’, and align our mission and strategy to ensure that they can be implemented for another successful year, and thereafter.

What is a Vision Statement?

Vision is the guiding light of a company, without which we could end up wandering down a murky business path without clear ways forward. It sets out the ‘why’ of the organization, and gives us a strong idea of where we want to go in the future. Without a clear vision and Vision Statement, we can become distracted and sidetracked from our main purpose, losing time and energy in areas that are not compatible with our corporate purpose. With limited bandwidth, and always on the lookout for new opportunities, entrepreneurs may be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of lack of Vision.

Some say that it may be easier to define a Vision Statement by what it’s not! For example, it’s not a Mission Statement, which is written in the present tense, and gives your organization the main idea of where you are going, as an extension of where you already are. It’s also not a Strategy, which sets out specifically what you are going to achieve, how you will do it, and when you expect to get results.

WBII Vision

The WBII Board has recently re-checked our Vision Statement to ensure that it reflects the organization’s purpose. Over the past 13 years, our Vision has not fundamentally changed, but it has been fine-tuned.

The Women’s Business Initiative International (WBII) aspires to be a leading and dynamic association, whose participants believe in the impact of empowering women entrepreneurs, and actively support them to develop flourishing and sustainable businesses.

Examples of corporate Vision Statements

‘Short, specific, and simple’ are terms that are often used to describe a good vision statement, and many companies have particularly interesting ones. The Vision Statement that Apple’s Tim Cook developed meets those criteria:

“We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.”

Tesla’s Vision Statement, which effectively reflects its dreams for the future, states:

“To create the most compelling car company of the 21 st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”

IKEA’s vision demonstrates a true sense of purpose, and uses inclusive wording:

“To create a better everyday life for the many people.”

Nike’s vision statement inspires us all to action:

Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Checking your Vision

Developing your strategic Vision Statement needs to take into consideration the current general business context you are working in, the specific environment relative to your sector, and your desired business position. Guides and suggestions are available about developing a corporate vision statement. One test that is frequently used is to think of your (potential) employees, and check to see that your Vision Statement will inspire all of you to support and contribute to your organization over the longer term.

Several of our WBII members are specialized in developing corporate Vision Statements, and include: Dovile Corrigan (Dove Coaching); Ebere Akadiri (Rise & Lead); Manuela Dumant (Azuka); and, Sinead Hewson (TpEBO). Each has particular expertise related to ‘visioning’, and please consider contacting them if you would like to have personalized support and guidance. If you already have a Vision Statement, you may also like to recalibrate it, which it is said should be done every 2-3 years.

2020 isn’t only about ‘eyesight’, its also about ‘insights’ which lead to accomplishments. Your Vision Statement can help to guide you in the right direction, and make sure that you stay on the right path. Wishing you excellent Vision, and business success in 2020!