Is your vision statement working?

Yes? No? Don’t know? Hey, what’s a vision statement? In many firms, vision statements are beautifully lacquered plaques that hang quietly on the wall waiting for someone to read them. The problem is for a vision to be a truly powerful communications tool for your team, you must have a strong, realistic vision statement in place.

Use these tips to “grade” your current vision statement’s program effectiveness.

  • Is it true? It’s hard to take a step back and ensure you are capturing your firm’s essence, but if your vision statement doesn’t accurately reflect your firm; your team, your clients, and your prospects will know it.

  • Be specific. Your vision should be specific and tie back to actual actions you want to see in your firm. If your statement says, “We WOW our clients,” what does WOW mean to your team?

  • Three perspectives: Your vision should incorporate three perspectives: the firm, your employees, and your clients (and prospects). Speak to each of these groups – What do they want?; What’s important to them?; How do these interrelate?

  • Live it. Guess what? Employees perceive a double-standard when what they are asked to do is different than what the leaders of an organization are doing. Ensure you don’t hit this wall by making your vision reflect your firm’s and its leaders’ behavior.

  • ? Set the example. When employees step up to the vision plate, make them an example to others and tie it back to your vision statement.

  • Spend some money. If you are pretty sure what you have isn’t what you need and don’t know where to start, consider outside resources. Consider your vision statement an investment in uniting your team on the same page.

  • Say it. Over and over and over again. Once you have your vision in place, make sure you communicate it in different ways and that it is a living document inside your firm. Make sure that each person has a copy of the vision. The more visible the copy, the better. Think of different ways to display it in your office.

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