The strategic success process recognizes that the business plans made by the owners of privately owned businesses are only meaningful when they are integrated with the owner’s Personal Vision of success. In order to create a successful business vision, owner’s first need to identify their Personal Vision, which includes the involvement they desire to have within their company, and what impact they want their company to have upon their personal life.

You will develop a concise Company Vision Statement of no more than 100 words, which are easy to use and are practical tools that will bring major positive impact upon your company’s success. Part of the objective for limiting each statement (except your Action Plan Statements) to no more than 100 words is to force you to narrow the elements down to the most powerful and important for your company’s success.

The objective of the Company Vision 3-part process is to give your company the following results:

  • Demystifies the strategic planning process in a manner that is easy to use and to understand.
  • Provides all your employees with the same clear picture of the strategic direction of your company and its Vision.
  • Provides your company and its employees with a better focus on the desired direction for resources, time and efforts and prevents fragmentation on lower priority issues.
  • Enhances expression of every employee’s best thinking as it relates to helping your business succeed.
  • Gains commitment from all employees on the key points of each step.
  • Provides a clear picture of the desired future for the company and how to get there. This will serve as a filter for any operational plans, new products/services or new market opportunities being considered before they are implemented.
  • Inspires “out of the box” thinking from your employees.
  • Gives answers to questions concerning opportunities such as:
    • Does this opportunity complement or violate the Vision of the business?
    • Does this opportunity deserve more or less emphasis in the future?
    • Does this opportunity involve products, markets and users that can be supported by the company’s current areas of excellence? Or, will it require excellence in areas beyond the company’s current capabilities?
    • Does this opportunity meet the size/growth and return/profit guidelines?
  • Provides new insight into your business and possible change of direction for your company.

Your written Company Vision Statements will not be a thesis. To the contrary, they will be a tool for taking your company to greater success. The statements are dynamic documents that will be updated and modified on a regular basis.

Your role as the strategic business leader of your company is very challenging. Typically, there will be employees who feel threatened and who display defensiveness and sensitivity. You may be frustrated by the procrastination that some of your management team demonstrates in completing their part of the process. In addition, you will find it a challenge to weed through the many good ideas that develop from answering the questions in this guide, and to prioritize and focus on only the most important ideas.

A Company Vision Statement should describe the desired future of the company. It requires the ability to imagine a better situation—such as Lee Iacocca’s vision of Chrysler as a quality-driven, highly successful automobile manufacturer when the company was nearly bankrupt.

In actual practice, the Company Vision for privately owned business is inextricably bound with the passions and aspirations of the business owner(s). After assessing and analyzing the answers to your Personal Vision guide, you will develop your Company Vision Statements based upon what you consider realistic and achievable, and what is in harmony with your ideals and dreams.

A Company Vision is the articulation of your shared aspirations for your company, as they will exist in the future. One way the Company Vision brings about passion from people other than the owner is to include aspects that impact employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders. Financial, internal processes, learning, and growth are all factors that bring about the emotional involvement of employees.

To be successful, the Company Vision must be grounded in reality, provide guidance and congruence for ensuing efforts and have some consistency over time. In order for people to be motivated by a Company Vision, they must perceive it as representing a future in which they want to participate.

An effective Company Vision must be simple and passionate so it can be easily remembered by your employees and customers. It should engage people’s emotions and feelings and provide meaning to their work. In addition, it should raise the value of your company in the eyes of your employees. The key to writing a successful Company Vision Statement is passion. Do not fill your Company Vision Statement with “mom and apple pie” clichés that will have a dulling effect on employees when read. This will only lead to the Company Vision being ignored. Every word, adjective and adverb must be carefully thought through. Paint a no-holds-barred picture of what you want your company to be in the future.

NOTE: It is common to share most, if not all, of your Company Vision Statement with customers.

However, aspects of your desired Vision, such as compensation levels for employees, are often excluded from the Company Vision that is shown to clients or customers.


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Part 1: Creating Your Company Vision

The most obvious subject area of a Company Vision is the economic success of the company. Your Company Vision should also address such things as your product or service, the social impact of your company, your corporate culture or even a political element. In a small to mid-sized business, it is easiest to combine Visions and Missions. The objective is to keep it simple.


Before writing your Company Vision Statement, answer the following questions to help you identify those elements most important to you for your company’s future. Some examples are given.

Part 2: Company Vision Priorities

Rank the following in order of importance for your company’s future with 1 being the most important. Then, write a short statement explaining the importance of the area ranked number 1.

  • Charitable
  • Company image
  • Environmental impact
  • Innovation/risk-taking
  • Leadership in industry/profession/community
  • Management approach
  • Productivity
  • Quality

A Company Vision Statement provides the destination on the roadmap that tracks where you want your company to go. The Company Vision Statement is shared with all employees.

Example of one company’s 100-Word Company Vision Statement:
To be a high-quality, custom solutions provider with state-of-the-art fabrication technology. We will pursue sound financial strategies, investing in R&D and selling products internationally through a sophisticated selling system and a first-class sales force. We will have an enlightened, skilled, dynamic, forward-thinking management team supporting and directing a motivated, loyal and flexible workforce.

Caution: Do not incorporate the specific plans for attaining your Vision in this Statement. The action steps will come later.

Your company’s 100-Word Company Vision Statement should remain relatively constant for 5 to 10 years in the future unless a major change takes place your life. Your Company Vision Statement must be compatible with your Personal Vision or it will not be attained.

Part 3: Create Company Vision Statement

  • Create your company vision statement in no more than 100 words by utilizing the information identified in parts 1 & 2.
  • After you are done, go back to your Personal Vision Statement and review elements affecting the future of the company that you do not want to share at this time with any company employees, or to share only with a few company employees.
  • Eliminate anything in your Company Vision Statement that is in conflict with your Personal Vision for the future of the company.