Why Your Company’s Vision Statement Sucks
Bland, generic, meaningless, white noise. These all describe that paragraph buried in your ancient fifty page business plan you lost. The way business strategies are created is quickly changing. Investors and other stakeholders (especially employees) are no longer interested in reading about static company strategies they don’t understand. Everyone is bombarded with information due to the web 2.0 era which is resulting in regular information overload. Your employees now need a vision they can interact with. The question is how do you make an interactive vision statement? Just condense it. Now I don’t mean cut it from a paragraph to a sentence or two. Give them something that supports your vision but they can really use. Any ideas yet? Let’s look back a few hundred years to find our solution.
Yoga and monks have been around for a very long time. Part of the reason is they know how to make their followers a part of the something larger than themselves. One way they do this is through something called a mantra. It is a chant that sums up everything they are achieving. Mantras range from a few words like “Just do it” to one syllable, “OOOhhhaaammmm.” The mantra is better than a vision statement because it is dynamic, easy to learn, easy to remember, and serves as a simple rock to guide all decisions. People also enjoy mantras because they create the opportunity to demonstrate you are a part of the culture.
Making a mantra for your company does not have to be difficult. If someone asked you, “tell me how your organization will change the world in five words or less” what would you say? When you decide on one use it casually and when others ask what it means explain to them it’s how you want to remember what this company is all about. End your meetings with the mantra, when making a sales call tell the mantra to the nearest co-worker. This is meant for your company to build an inclusive and excited culture so be excited about it. If an employee uses it and you catch it, give him positive reinforcement. This incremental innovation is an excellent way to make your company up-to-date while making a dynamic business environment.