Vision Statement

Capture and define a strategic destination for strategy or enterprise engagement
Contributed by

Geoff Probst

Published September 28, 2023

What Is Vision Statement?

The Vision statement is a mid- to long-term goal for an organization or a primary goal for an enterprise engagement.  It should be outcome- oriented and should express how an enterprise wants to be perceived by the world or how an engagement wants to be seen by the rest of an organization.  The Vision statement should be an achievable stretch goal.

Why Do Vision Statement?

The Vision Statement should create a mental picture of a future destination for a group of people to realize over a strategic time frame.  Once a Vision is achieved, a new Vision is defined.  This iterative process of realizing multiple Vision statements should bring the organization closer and closer to its Mission statement. If the organization does not have a Mission statement, check out the Mission statement OPL practice from the links below.

How to do Vision Statement?

aThe Vision Statement can be created from a client meeting, series of interviews, standalone facilitated practice or as part of a workshop. The outcome of this process is to identify a mid- to long-term goal that the organization or engagement must realize in a specific time horizon.aaaaa


During interviews with sponsors for an engagement or executives of an entity, the interviewer should focus on main concepts in crafting a Vision statement. Those concepts are addressed via the questions listed below:

  1. Where does the organization we want to compete?  What is our differentiator (Definition of Niche)? 
  2. How do we know when the Vision is realized?  What is the overall measure of success for the Vision (Stretch Goal)?
  3. When do we need to realize the Vision (Time Horizon)?

Make sure the interviewer asks the same questions to get consistent results. Varying the questions makes it difficult to find patterns in the results. Consistency is key.

From each of the interviews, the information should be aggregated and synthesized into one sentence to be reviewed with sponsors or executives. The Vision statement should incorporate all three components mentioned above.  Depending on the number of sponsors or executives, the review could be handled via email or a short meeting. If there are several participants, a workshop approach is most likely a better option. Results from an interview process with multiple interviewees can be used as the initial draft(s) of the Vision statement.


A vision practice or workshop follows a similar approach to the interviews. All of the main concept questions are addressed as a group. There are a couple of ways to approach this workshop.

  1. This approach is good for a small number of executives/leaders.

  2. (40 min) Using silent collaboration, ask the attendees each of the key questions. Give individuals the allotted time to write down their answers and post all answers for each question in place where everyone can view them.

    • Ask: “Where does the organization we want to compete?” & “What is our differentiator?” (15 min)
    • Ask: “How do we know when the Vision is realized?” & “What is the overall measure of success for the Vision?” (15 min)
    • Ask: “When do we need to realize the Vision?” (10 min)
  3. (10 min) Give attendees some time to read each others’ answers silently.

  4. (15 min) Have each individual craft their own personal Vision statement based on all the information shared by all team members.  Once again, remind everyone that the statement must have all three components and be concise (1 sentence).

  5. (30 min) Go around the group and have every individual share their statement.  Note which phrases are inspirational or invoke emotion.

  6. (20-40 min) Keep reviewing and iterating until the group reaches a consensus.

  7. (10 min) Once the final vision statement is agreed to, try asking these questions as a litmus test:

    • Does the Vision statement have a clear 'Finish Line'?
    • Do associates of the organization see how they contribute to the realization of the vision?
    • Does the final Vision statement invoke emotion?
    • Would you wear the Vision statement on a T-shirt?

Vision Statement Examples:

  1. “To have one million customers online by the end of the decade” - Wells Fargo
  2. “In the next two years, GE brands had to be #1 or #2 in their markets” - Jack Welch 
  3. “In five years, we will become the respected leader in financial services with a focus on customer relationships and satisfaction, producing financial returns in the top quartile of the industry.” - financial service company
  4. “To put a man on the moon by the end of the decade” - John F Kennedy for NASA

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Vision Statement practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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