Vision Statement Template and 40 Vision Statement Examples

Apr 16, 2024

A vision statement is a clear articulation of your organization’s bold future state—meaning where you want your organization to be in 5-10 years.

As you embark upon your strategic planning process, your vision statement is the foundation of your organization’s long-term goals and day-to-day activities. Knowing where to start when creating your vision statement can be tricky, but we’ve got you covered! We’ll cover the basics of vision statements, how they differ from mission and values statements, and how you can build your own using our vision statement template. As you work through the creation of your own vision, browse 37 of our favorite vision statement examples and learn some best practices.

Pro Tip:Without a clear vision statement, you’ll have a difficult time communicating that vision of your future to your team and to the people around you.

What is the Purpose of a Vision Statement?

Your vision statement is the big, bold declaration that defines what you seek to accomplish or where you want to be in the next 5-10 years. It is foundational to your strategic plan and should not be overlooked in the planning process, as it articulates and crystalizes your future state.

What is the difference between a vision statement, a mission statement, and guiding principles?

While this is a common mistake, an organization’s vision can be confused with its mission statement. They are not interchangeable, as each has a clear purpose. Missions express why you exist and what you do; visions paint a bold picture of your future, and company values outline how you expect your team to behave.

A company’s vision articulates where you’re going.

A company’s vision statement is a forward-looking declaration that outlines your organization’s aspirations for the future, typically spanning multiple years. It asks (and answers) the fundamental question, “Where are we going?”

Your vision statement is your big, bold, lofty aspirations all wrapped up in a clear and memorable sentence. Your vision may feel, in some ways, a bit out of reach and overly ambitious, but that’s okay- it’s supposed to be! The primary purpose of creating a vision statement is to provide direction and inspiration, setting a clear and ambitious target for what the organization aims to achieve.

Pro Tip: You need to create a unique vision statement! It needs to be distinct and paint a picture of the world if you reach your future goals. How will you change people’s lives? How will you change your organization?

A company’s mission statement articulates why you exist.

Unlike a vision statement, which answers the question, ‘Where are we going?’ a company mission statement focuses on it’s core purpose. A mission statement asks the question, “Why do we exist?”. Think of a mission statement like a purpose statement. It should provide the context for all the decisions made within the organization and be useful for both internal and external audiences.

It describes the organization’s current purpose and reason for its creation. Your mission is essentially your statement that defines the purpose of the work you do. It should provide the context for all the decisions made within the organization and be useful for both internal and external audiences.

Pro Tip: A good mission statement clearly communicates your higher purpose and reason for existing. It should also guide business’s vision!

Again, this statement would ideally be clear, succinct, and memorable, as it will be something that you’d share with your customers, employees, and stakeholders.

Guiding principles define how you will behave.

Your guiding principles or company’s core values are the uncompromising principles or standards by which you guide your decision-making. They inform your approach to growth and impact. These can also serve as the clear guardrails and principles that keep your organization growing with quality and integrity.

They define the clear behaviors you expect of your organization and your team as you pursue your big, bold vision.

These elements make up essential aspects of your strategic plan and are not interchangeable. Each element is foundational and has a clear purpose. Missions are what you do conversationally, visions paint a bold picture of your future, and values outline how you expect your team to behave.

Vision statement template canvas

What are the Benefits of a Compelling Company Vision Statement?

There are several benefits to incorporating your vision statement into your strategic plan. Some key benefits that a well-defined business vision statement provides are:

  • Directional Guidance: Your vision statement acts as a compass, guiding strategic planning and decision-making by defining the desired end state.
  • Motivation and Inspiration: A compelling vision can inspire and motivate stakeholders, including employees, customers, and investors, by providing a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Unity and Alignment: A vision statement helps align the efforts of all team members, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.
  • Strategic Framework: Your vision statement serves as a foundational element in the strategic planning process and helps to shape the objectives, strategies, and action plans that will drive the organization toward its envisioned future state.
  • Decision-Making Clarity: With a clear vision, decisions can be evaluated based on their alignment with the desired future, ensuring that actions contribute to long-term success.
  • Differentiation: A distinct and ambitious vision can set an organization apart from its competitors.

Does every organization need a vision statement? Absolutely!

A vision statement is not just a declaration of long term future intentions that is only shared during yearly board meetings or during fund-raising events; an inspiring vision statement is a strategic tool that benefits an organization by providing direction, inspiring stakeholders, fostering unity, guiding decision-making, and differentiating the organization from its competitors.

Vision Statement Template & Visioning Canvas

Coming up with a big, bold vision that encompasses your goals for the next 5 to 10 years may seem like a daunting task. Prior to drafting your vision statement, you need to go through a few ‘visioning’ exercises to determine what your vision for your organization actually is. To help you build a vision statement that matters, we’ve created a visioning guide and attached an easy-to-follow visioning template. Click here to download!

How to write a vision statement

The first step to narrowing down your vision for your organization is to ask yourself and your team these two questions:

  1. What does success look like for us in the future?
  2. How will that differ from how it looks today?

These questions are a good way to put your team in the mindset of thinking about where you are today versus where you want to be tomorrow.

When thinking of your ideal future state, it may help to think about your team’s common goals in relation to four specific areas: people and organizational suitability, operational excellence and innovation, customer growth and retention, and financial results and impact.

Pro Tip:

You may recognize these four areas in a balanced scorecard, which is exactly what it is. When you outline what the future would look like in these four areas, it will paint a clear and well-balanced picture of your overall vision for your organization and provides some guidance of where you want to focus your development efforts.

The best way to do this exercise is to follow this canvas to guide your exercise and with each matrix, ask yourself two questions; “What does success look like (in this area)” and “How is it different from today?” For each perspective you explore, write supporting vision descriptors, aka “min-visions,” that will ultimately support your larger vision of success.

These help your organization clearly understand your ideal future in all areas of your organization. Use the template provided in the canvas above to complete the following vision descriptors to include in your business plan and strategic plan.

People and Organizational Suitability

The first perspective is internally focused based on our equity in our people and organizational stability. This includes areas such as organization structure, size, and capabilities, as well as overall company culture and skills.

What does success look like for your people? Think about your organization’s structure, size, capabilities, and culture.

Mini Vision: Have a growing team of 200 people who are passionate about changing our industry.

Operational Excellence and Innovation

The second area focuses on operational excellence, and innovation. This includes such concerns like facilities, processes, technology, innovation and environmental impact.

What facilities, technology, innovations, or environmental impact are needed to achieve that vision? How will it help you get there?

Mini Vision: Scale our infrastructure to increase output by 50%.

Customer Growth and Retention

This area focuses on the market/customer-facing perspective of growth and impact. Areas of concern could include the services, customer service, products, benefits, and value proposition that your organization brings to the market.

What does the volume, number of customers, geographies, or products/services look like once you reach your destination?

Mini Vision: Become a top player in our market, positioned as ‘innovators’ in the minds of our customers.

Financial Results and Impact

Finally, this perspective focuses on a financial perspective, and includes concerns such as social impact, sustainability, profitability, and revenue growth.

What is the revenue growth, profitability, or social and community impact achieving this vision will help achieve?

Mini Vision: Achieve sustainable, profitable growth by increasing profits by 10% year over year over the next 5 years.

OnStrategy Vision Statement Example

Now that you have the four areas filled out, , you can use the vision statement template we’ve created as a guide to write your own. Begin by setting a target date or year to accomplish, followed by the phrase ‘we envision’ paired with your organization’s desired future state. Finally, end your statement with a ‘why’ to give your team vision a reason and purpose. Fill in the blanks to help write your own vision statement:

  1. By: Insert the year or timeframe
  2. This doesn’t have to be explicitly stated in your vision statement, but you should have a timeline in mind as you draft it.

  3. We envision: A phrase that helps frame your vision statement.
  4. Again, you don’t have to explicitly keep this phrase in your vision statement once you’ve drafted it. But starting your vision statement drafting process with this phrase can help put you in the right frame of mind.

  5. Verb: An action verb in future tense
  6. Impact: Description of future impact on the world

We envision being the #1 choice for premier organic, sustainable foods by changing the way produce is grown and sold in North America.

How to Write a Vision Statement

6 Characteristics of a great vision statement:

  • An ideal vision statement at least five years in nature or longer, but no longer than 10 years. You need to have flexibility to pivot if your company or end goal changes, so 10-year vision might be too long.
  • Your vision statement needs to be unique to your organization, sound like no one else’s, and stays true to what sets your organization apart
  • Vision statements are set in the future tense and have a powerful action verb.
  • A great company vision statement is directional. Again, we’re not there today but are moving towards our ideal future with forward momentum.
  • A good vision statement is audacious. Visions are big and broad with high-reaching thoughts.
  • Finally, a strong vision statement is descriptive.

40 Sample Vision Statements

Now that you have a template to help create your vision statement, we’ve put together a list of 37 of our favorite vision statement from organizations around the globe. First, we will jump into some of our favorite vision statement’s from OnStrategy client’s:

OnStrategy Clients Vision Examples

Vision Statement Examples - Patagonia Vision

#1– Experience Kissimmee

To be the recognized leader in destination marketing by promoting Kissimmee and Central Florida’s tourism experiences to the world.

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#2– Bright Path Labs

Bright Path Labs’ vision is to bring our advanced manufacturing technologies to the entire pharmaceutical industry where our cutting edge and proprietary chemical production techniques can significantly contribute to solving some of today’s biggest healthcare challenges, including:

  • Improving the resiliency of domestic supply chains and the affordability of medicine
  • Reducing the risk of life-saving drug shortages
  • Supplying increased access to medicine for underserved and overlooked patient populations.

#3– Keystone Health Care

To become the preferred provider of Emergency Medicine and Hospital Medicine services by embracing dynamic healthcare challenges and focusing on controlled growth in select markets.

#4– Patagonia

Making the best product matters for saving the home planet.

#5– Cleveland Metropolitan’s School District Engagement Division

CMSD is the number one choice in Cleveland; families enroll and remain with the District because they feel welcomed, valued, supported, and meaningfully engaged as partners in students’ success.

#6– The City of Reno

We are a thriving urban center known for our world-class colleges, vibrant culture, diverse outdoor activities, and innovative industries.

#7– City and County of San Francisco Department of Technology

We envision being a trusted leader and global example in providing innovative technology services and solutions to all CCSF agencies, the people of San Francisco and worldwide.

#8– Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

We envision becoming the trusted, respected, and sought-after community partner by serving our citizens and taking care of our employees.

For-Profit Vision Examples

Netflix Vision Statement Example

#9– Honda

Serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life’s potential by leading the advancement of mobility and enable people everywhere in the world to improve their daily lives.

#10– Hyundai

Progress for humanity. We’re here do the right thing for humanity.

#11– Porsche

The brand for those who follow their dreams.

#12– Kia

Providing a new space that makes life more convenient and enjoyable by realizing superlative mobility based on innovative people-oriented, eco-friendly technologies and comprehensive services.

#13– Microsoft

Microsoft’s vision statement is to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.

#14– Hulu

Lead the future of Streaming TV by creating new and familiar experiences for our viewers, amplifying bold voices, and challenging our diverse builders and creators to push the boundaries of storytelling and technology.

#15– Netflix

Becoming the best global entertainment distribution service.

#16– Verizon

We create the connections that shape the future. Verizon is transforming how people, businesses and technologies interact, setting the stage for the next Industrial Revolution.

#17– Tesla

…To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.

#18– Google

Google’s vision is to provide access to the world’s information in one click.

#19– IKEA

To create a better everyday life for the many people.

This vision goes beyond home furnishing. We want to have a positive impact on the world– from the communities where we source our raw materials to the way our products help our customers live a more sustainable life at home.

Healthcare Vision Statement Examples

Renown Vision Statement Example

#20– Renown Health

Renown Health, with our partners, will inspire better health in our communities.

#21– Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota

Be the customer’s first choice by reinventing ourselves and the system.

#22– Merk

We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world.

#23– Johnson & Johnson

To help people see better, connect better, live better.

#24– Mizuho

Our aim is to be a world-leading medical equipment supplier committed to meeting and exceeding the expectations of our clients.

#25– CVS

Guided by our purpose, CVS Health® is building an entire world of health care around each and every person we serve, no matter where they are on their journey.

#26– AstraZeneca’s Vision

Driven by innovative science and our entrepreneurial culture, we are focused on the delivery of life-changing medicines that are fueling growth and contributing value to patients and society.

Education Vision Statement Examples

University of Nevada Vision Statement Example

#27– Harvard

Harvard College sets the standard for residential liberal arts and sciences education. We have committed to creating and sustaining the conditions that enable all Harvard College students to experience an unparalleled educational journey that is intellectually, socially, and personally transformative.

#28– Brown

We will be an innovative and adaptable community of educators that creates a seamless and transformative experience for all Brown students by equipping them to succeed academically, empowering them to be in community together as their authentic selves, and supporting them in developing skills for life after Brown.

#29– Stanford’s Vision

We are expanding avenues of discovery across all fields while creating new pathways for applying knowledge where it is needed in the world.

#30– Michigan State College of Literature, Science, and Arts

We are a diverse intellectual community, working together to reimagine the world and create positive, purposeful change.

#31– The University of Nevada, Reno

The University of Nevada, Reno‘s vision is to educate and graduate the best-prepared, confident leaders for the state, national, and global community; to be a nexus for research and creativity that focuses on vital issues of our time; and to serve as a catalyst for the betterment of our society.

#32– Los Angeles Unified School District

L.A. Unified will be a progressive global leader in education, providing a dynamic and inspiring learning experience where all students graduate ready for success.

#33– Clark County School District

Our vision is for all students to graduate from high school having the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to achieve academically, prosper economically, and contribute in a global society.

Non-Profit Vision Examples

Nevada Humane Society Vision Statement Example

#34– Global Fund for Children

The Global Fund for Children, envision a world where all children have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. This vision can be turned into reality with the help of grassroots organizations.

#35– St. Jude

To accelerate progress against catastrophic disease at a global level.

#36– Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

All youth achieve their full potential.

#37– Nevada Humane Society

Our vision is that all pets have a healthy, happy life.

#38– Boys and Girls Club of America

Provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

#39– Habitat for Humanity

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

#40– American Red Cross

The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that…

  • …all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;
  • …our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;
  • …everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products;
  • …all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and
  • …in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.

For a deep dive on Vision Statements, check out ourVision Statements post.

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