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Creating Business Vision

Jan 15th 2010
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A business vision should be brief and easy to remember. A good rule of thumb is keeping it to ten words or less. The vision needs to represent a challenge for future achievement. Make it inspiring and a rallying point for the organization. In clear language the vision needs to clarify the essence of what the business needs to become.

Some questions to ask include what business are we in? This is a simple question but it is important to devote clear thinking to the involved issues. Clarity about the current business profile is critical. What businesses could we be in and what business should we be in? Going a step further, what businesses should we not be in? When thinking and pondering these questions, make sure you think beyond the organization. Don’t box yourself into an unrealistic conception of what always has been. Consider what is going on around you and the current economic environment and its impact on your business.
Consider the basic purpose of your business and what makes it unique and distinctive. Who are your principal customers and who should be your customers? What products and services do you provide to them? How is your business different than it was 3 to 5 years ago? Conversely, what do you think will be different about your business in 3 to 5 years?
When developing a business vision give consideration on what you think is the key to future success of the business. Some additional questions include issues like what unique contributions should we be making in the future? What values need to be stressed? What are or what should be the organization’s core competencies?
Address positions on the following issues:
  • Customers
  • Markets
  • Profitability
  • Growth
  • Technology
  • Quality
  • Employees
This effort needs to be honest. Avoid falling into the trap of complacency. Consider whether the business needs to expand and if so how? Maybe you think the business needs to pull back and adopt a different profile for profitability. Then again, perhaps the vision is to hold steady and maintain your current focus. Whatever the options, give them careful consideration.
In developing your strategic thinking profile, exclude operational effectiveness because this is something every business needs to be pursuing. The world has changed. It is a flat world with global competition, technology, and the speed of change has accelerated. Your thinking needs to be focused on what you want to be doing differently than your competitors. If you’re just trying to copy competitors, success will be limited. Strategic thinking needs to have the dimension of a focused direction that allows you to concentrate on new opportunities. Make it a priority to establish a clear and effective value proposition because this represents the essence of your business vision. My Strategic Thinking and Planning Toolkit is a good guide if you need extra help.

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