Core Business Documents
There are three core documents that drive business strategy:
Each document informs the one that follows with the Vision Statement specifically driving your strategy.
The Vision Statement as an Evolving Document
In their book Total Alignment: Tools and Tactics for Streamlining Your Organization, Riaz and Linda Khadem state the relationship between your mission and your vision as so:
“Vision is about seeing how your missing is played out in the future. It is a picture of your future in five, ten, or twenty years.”
As such, your vision can, and should, change over time depending on the social, technological, political, and environmental context.
For example, Microsoft’s mission is:
“to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more
That mission is static. However, as GeekWire points out, Microsoft’s vision is not. Microsoft’s vision in 2016 emphasized mobile. The vision was to:
“build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”
By 2017 the technological landscape had changed, and Microsoft responded. Their vision evolved to:
“build[ing] best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligence (“AI”).”
Developing Your Vision Statement
Developing your own vision statement requires some thought and foresight. You vision should answer the question:
What will it look like if we successfully execute on our mission?
Starbucks is a good example of this idea. Their mission is:
“to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
What do Starbucks‘ leaders expect to happen as they successfully execute? The answer is in their vision statement. They expect to:
“…establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow”
Riaz and Linda Khadem offer some additional questions that business leaders can ask to help develop thier business statement. Among these are:
- What does success look like?
- What have we achieved?
- How is our mission succeeding?
- How are we adhering to our core values?
As you answer these questions and project your mission forward, Riaz and Linda Khadem suggest that you:
“…combine the ideas, then prioritize and arrive at a brief statement that describes the vision of your company.”
Once you have a solid mission statement, and a clear vision of where your company will be in the future, then you can focus on your strategy for getting there.