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You will immediately notice that this blog covers a wide range of themes - in fact, whatever takes my fancy or whatever I feel strongly about that is current or topical. Although themes may relate to business, corporate or organisational issues (i.e. the core talents of JCG), they also cover issues on which JCG also feels warranted to comment, such as social issues, my books, other peoples' books and so on. You need to know that comments are moderated - not to stifle disagreement - but rather to eliminate obnoxious or incendiary comments. If a reader wishes to pursue any specific theme in more detail, specifically in relation to corporate, business or organisational issues, or in relation to my books, then the reader is invited to send an off-line email with a request. A prompt response is promised. I hope you enjoy this blog - sometimes informed, sometimes amused and sometimes empassioned. Welcome and enjoy.

27 April 2014

Simplistic Vision Statements

An article in HBR ( proposes a more meaningful way of presenting a corporation's Vision statement.

The problem with this approach is that it is too simplistic.

Firstly, is it a statement for its PR value in the market or is it intended to motivate staff? Generally consumers don't care about the company; they care about the value they're getting from it for their invested time and money.

Secondly, it appears that the vision is driving what the corporation 'will be'. A Vision statement in a multiple-shareholder corporation is an enabler, not an objective. In other words, a Vision is a picture of the corporation at some time in the future delivering the corporation's mission - not the other way around.

In a private single-shareholder enterprise, the Vision can be anything it wants and defined any way it wants. It only needs to live with the consequences of its 'vision'.

Thirdly, in order to make a Vision statement meaningful, it has to enable decision-making. A one-line or even one-page Vision statement means that management must subjectively (but with well-meaning intent) interpret the one line or one page. This is fraught with danger.

To be more effective, a Vision statement needs to explain or define the Vision for all key parts of the organisation: What will our market look like in the 'new world'? What will our products and services be composed of? What are the future characteristics of our channels, support requirements, communications and promotions, human resources, systems and processes, and our structure and management? Only with this sort of clarity, can management make decisions that help take the organisation toward its vision. Only with this level of detail can a corporation justify a significant change to its vision when circumstances change over time.



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