SETTING A VISION


The first step in setting up your marketing and branding is to decide what you want to build, so what kind of a company do you want, and what are the values your company stands for. You can skip this step and just create branding and marketing that you think will sell, but if your public face (the branding and marketing) and the private face (your vision) don't align you will seem inauthentic and your employees will be confused.

What is a vision:

1) It's the values that your company embodies

2) The goals of the company

Who is the audience: Your employees, they should know your vision, and it usually appears in lots of your internal communications

What makes for a good vision statement

1) Concise: Short and to the point

2) Clear: Everyone should be able to understand it just by reading it

3) Focused on the future: something for you to strive for


EXAMPLES

Special Olympics – To transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and thereby anyone who is perceived as different

Creative Commons – Nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.

Google: To organize the world’s data, to make it universally accessible and useful

Amazon: Be the earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.


RUNNING A VISIONING SESSION

A visioning session is a time to throw out and discuss ideas about what you want your company to do and stand for and then group and analyze those ideas to identify the core of what you want to build

Prep:

-Get post-its (preferably a couple colors) and pens

-Go somewhere you won’t be interrupted and that is informal, a cafe in the middle of the day is ideal

-There needs to be a place to post the post-its, windows and white boards work well

-Divide the post-it posting space into three sections Values, Goals, and Parking Lot

-Dress casually

-Try to bring at least three people who will help you that aren’t part of your leadership team

Create:

1) Have each person write five value and five goals for your company on a total of ten post-its (I recommend choosing one color for goals, and one color for values and have everyone stick to that so it is easy to group them later) these can be single words or short phrases, but avoid writing a full vision statement or goal.

2) Then, once everyone is done, have the first person post each of their ideas and explain them a bit. (leave plenty of space between them).

3) Then have the second person do the same, but if one of their goals or values is similar to one of the ones already up there cluster them together.

4) If someone has a great insight that isn’t a value or a goal put it in the parking lot and come back to it later. We don’t want to lose these ideas but we don’t want to get sidetracked by them either.

5) Once everyone has gone discuss the clusters that have formed and if people have new ideas during the conversation add them

6) As the conversations dies down have everyone write down the three goals and three value they like most, then go to the board and put a check mark on each of those goals and values.

7) Now count the votes and choose the three values and three goals that got the most votes.

NOTE: Post-its don’t stay stuck for long so get a smart phone and photograph all the post-its so you have a record.

First draft:

Now spend a little time creating your first draft vision statement. It can be as simple as a list, like "Our company will accomplish A, B, and C, by embodying X, Y, and Z". But if you can synthesize it a bit to make it a bit more cohesive and readable I recommend it.

And there you go. You have a first draft vision. It's important to remember that this is a draft. As you go through the next exercises you may realize your vision is missing something, that’s fine, talk about it and add, this is a living statement.