Where the mission explains why the organization exists and the work it does every day, the vision statement sets a long-term goal for the organization. The vision statement is a very short phrase or sentence that sets an exciting tone for planning the future of the organization. It is the organization’s shared hopes, dreams, and image of the future. The vision statement answers:
What do we want to become in the future?
Here is an example of a Vision Statement from Nike, 1960s: “Crush Adidas”
Current: “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”
Jose Luis Romeo, on his website, www.Skills2Lead.com, defines the vision statements beautifully as, “…something you want to become, to achieve, it is a seductive image of an ideal future.” Nike’s statements do just that. They don’t give us specific deadlines, but they create a spirit of action which can be translated into specific, measureable goals by teams, departments, and individuals within the organization. The vision statement inspires growth and gives direction to achieve our mission every day. For more examples of inspiring vision statements buy my book, “A Small Business Guide to Developing Mission, Vision, and Value Statements”
Sonia Keffer has been developing and facilitating employee-training workshops for seventeen years. A main focus of Sonia’s work is the internal motivation that is necessary for all of us to be truly successful. Being passionate about her work she enjoys bringing new ideas to all levels of employees and seeing the spark ignite in someone when they understand how to incorporate a new concept into their own personal or professional life. Her training sessions are high energy and interactive which allow for maximum participation and learning. Sonia has been fortunate enough to work across the United States with such organizations as The county of Orange, California, the City and county of San Francisco, Stearns-Benton Workforce Center and On With Life. Here is Omaha Sonia has worked with such terrific organizations as Fashion Cleaners, Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Tri-county Workforce Development, Henningsen Foods, Inc., SOCAP, PVPL, the Nebraska Art Council, the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival and NAM. Among Sonia’s other passions are her involvement in community theatre including being involved all four years of the Great Plains Theatre Conference sponsored by Metropolitan Community College. This summer she both directed and acted in new works first presented at the conference at Omaha’s Shelterbelt Theater. Check out Sonia books “A Guide to Developing Mission, Vision, and Value Statements“.
Sustainability is a strategy that drives long-term business growth and profitability. Keeping a small business operating after the start-up phase is a major challenge for small businesses across the country. According to CNN (May 20, 2011), across the United States, small business failure rates rose by 40% between 2007 and 2010, according to the report. Only two-thirds of new small businesses survive at least two years, and just 44 percent survive at least four years, according to a study by the U.S. Small Business Association. Even businesses with substantial start-up funds flail around in a brutal economic climate. Those that survived either cut back severely on expenditures or filed for bankruptcy court protection allowing them to pay off creditors over a longer period of time. Staying solvent means enduring or weathering bad times. Surviving all closure odds and trends means that the survivors had a sustainability plan.
How can I adopt a sustainability mind-set? Strategizing for sustainability involves understanding and adopting the following stay in business mind-set:
Eliminating Visioning Barriers. Focus on being mentally prepared for staying in business beyond the finish line. This means closing your ears to all naysayers who didn’t believe that you could start a business early on and now are waiting to give you bad advice about how to run your business and stay in business.
Sharpening Your Vision. Hone your ability to visualize business success in order to produce more confident actions. Increased confidence about business sustainability breeds success. This means letting go of everyone in your circle of colleagues and friends that don’t share your vision. Controlling the environment that you manage and growing your business is critical to sustainability.
Welcoming Sacrifice. Accept the fact that business success does not come without sacrifice of self, other human sources, and personal/business finances. This means adopting the “failure is not an option” mindset to achieve and sustain your dream of a successful business venture.