Having a Vision Statement for your organization can be a powerful tool. A Vision Statement tells the world what you hope your organization will become known for in the future. It is different from your Mission Statement which articulates what you do, for whom you do it, and the benefit to them. A Vision is more inspirational and future facing.
- Do We Change Our Vision With Our New Board?
There is some misunderstanding about when and how often organizations should update their Vision Statement. No, you shouldn’t have a new board work on changing your Vision simply because there is new leadership. In fact, it’s the opposite: you want to have a Vision so solid for your organization that you go find new board members who believe in that same Vision and are interested in helping bring it to fruition.
The only two times an organization should embark on the process of modifying the Vision Statement is 1) once it is actually achieved, or 2) when it is no longer relevant or aligned with the direction of the organization.
When a Vision is accomplished, be sure to celebrate that milestone and praise all the people who helped craft it and worked over the years to achieve it.
- What Are the Elements of a Strong Vision Statement?
A Vision Statement must be inspirational enough that people are enthusiastic about buying into it.
It must be “big picture” enough so that a variety of your members/stakeholders can see themselves relating to and benefiting from it.
It must be concise. Make it succinct enough so that every board and staff member can memorize it. One period and no commas is ideal. If it’s too lengthy, people won’t remember it.
It must be actually attainable one day. If it’s too outlandish, your members and stakeholders will consider it unrealistic and too frivolous to pursue.
It must be shared. You organization must write it down and share it with the world.
- How Do We Write a New Vision Statement?
When it is time to write a new Vision Statement, look to the past, the present, and the future. Some great conversation prompts are:
- Past: What have we learned from our organization’s past successes and failures?
- Current: What are we doing really well right now that we can build upon?
- Future: What is our dream for our organization’s future? What does success look like?
Make sure you’re listening to feedback from members/stakeholders during this process. Your Vision Statement should be reflective of the needs and dreams of the ones you serve.
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