By Erica Olsen
Updating your vision statement and vivid description

Updating or creating a new vision statement can be one of the most exciting parts of strategic planning. Creating your vision statement can be achieved in a fashion similar to that of creating your mission and values statements with a few minor adjustments to achieve a statement that paints a clear picture of where the organization would like to be in 5+ years.

Follow these steps to create your vision:

  1. Gather your senior staff and key employees together for a one- to two-hour meeting.
    Visioning is best done in a group setting. If your group is bigger than five people, break up into small groups of three to five to allow everyone to have a voice in the process.
  2. Generate a list of ideas and phrases based on the responses to these three questions:
    • What will our organization look like five to ten years from now?
    • What does success look like?
    • What are we aspiring to achieve?

    Allow the group to brainstorm, even if some of the ideas are totally wacky.

  3. Ask the group to pair up ideas that have similar themes.
    Identify the ideas that most closely resemble the vision for the organization.
  4. Ask one or two people to develop a draft vision statement based on the condensed list of ideas.
    The vision statement should be short and use verb phrases that are forward-looking such as to be.
  5. Ask another one or two people to generate the vivid description based on all of the themes identified.
    When developing the vivid description, use th future tense, such as
    “We will…”
  6. Bring the vision statement and vision description back to the group.
    Revise until you have something everyone agrees on.
  7. Evaluate the vision statement against the mission and values statements.
    Make sure they all connect.