peak performance through people development
Identifying and communicating a clear vision is one of the most important functions a business leader can perform. All business leaders should understand the basic elements of visioning and how to communicate a clear vision.

Creating a clear and effective vision delivers many benefits to your business. Not only does a clear, shared vision help define the values of your company and its employees, but it also helps guide the behaviour of all employees. A strong vision also leads to improve productivity and efficiency.

With a clearly communicated vision, your business will facilitate buy-in from its employees and create a sense of shared vision that will enable the organization to realize the benefits associated with a strong sense of vision.

The Benefits of Creating a Vision

A vision is an idealized picture of the future of the business or organization.  This can bring many benefits to you.

1.  Visioning is the first step in strategic planning.
2.  A vision shared by all the members of your business can help all members set goals to advance the organization.
3.  A vision can also motivate and empower employees.
4.  Without a strong vision, strategic plans cannot be properly delineated since there is no guiding principle or ideal to plan.
5.  A vision brings meaning to peoples’ work, mobilizes them to action, and helps them decide what to do and what not to do in the course of their work.
6.  An effective vision strikes a chord in people, motivates them by tapping their competitive drive, arouses desire for greatness or interest in doing the right thing, tantalizes them with personal gain, or appeals to their need to make a difference in the world.
7.  A vision is an idealized picture of the future organization and it expresses the organization's reason for existence.
8.  Visions grab people and then bring them into the fold.
9.  When a leader's vision is effective and strong, employees and stakeholders get caught up in what they are doing, absorb the vision, and commit themselves to the goals and the values of the leaders.

A good vision:
  • Identifies direction and purpose
  • Builds loyalty through involvement
  • Sets standards of excellence that reflect high ideals and a sense of integrity
  • Is persuasive and credible
  • Inspires enthusiasm and encourages commitment
  • Is well articulated and easily understood
  • Is ambitious and calls for a shared commitment
  • Challenges and inspires people to align their energies in a common direction
  • Fits with the business' unique culture and values
  • Results in efficiency and productivity
  • Reflects the company's unique strengths 13
How then does the successful leader create and communicate a vision?

The following steps will help you identify and communicate your vision effectively so you can gain all the benefits listed above.

Creating and Communicating Vision

In order to create a vision, business leaders provide a meaningful plan to succeed and define their purpose and core values in a way that is meaningful, easy to remember, and transparent --without any hidden agendas. A memorable, powerful, yet motivational guiding statement is most assuredly a wonderful thing for a leader to create and communicate for any business.

So how should leaders go about creating and communicating a clear vision? The answer lies in understanding and identifying the business's core values, understanding the core purpose or envisioned future of the business, and clearly articulating and communicating the vision to the organization.

Core Values

When setting out to understand the core values of the company, the business leader embarks on a journey of discovery rather than a mission of invention or creation. The first step is to identify the core values that already exist in the business. Core values are values that are intrinsic to the organization. Core values define the business and what it stands for, and core values endure-even if the same core values at some point no longer are advantageous for competitive reasons. Core values are fixed throughout time and cannot be changed. They are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization.

Core Purpose

Once you have identified the core values of your business, it is time to define and understand your core purpose and define the future you envision for the business. The core purpose is the organization's reason for being.  It is a long-term purpose for the business that is never achieved. Whereas you might achieve a goal or complete a strategy, you cannot fulfil a purpose.

Effective Communication

The major difference between a company with a vision statement and a company with a clear sense of vision is that a company with a clear sense of vision will have employees who have very strong alignment with the organization's core values.

Once a vision is created, it must be communicated and articulated effectively so that it becomes the shared vision of everyone in the organization.  It is not always easy to spread a vision through the business so the key part of creating shared vision is in articulating it and communicating it in an enduring fashion. Once this shared vision is created, it will become a driving force that "compels people to do something, change something, become something".

An example of well articulated vision is Wal-Mart's "Low prices, every day". This vision statement is clear, concise, and easy to remember. These are the keys to a clearly articulated vision.  Communicating the vision is achieved when the vision is driven deep into the organization and when it is communicated to all the far reaches of the organization.

Effectively communicating vision is more than placing a vision statement on the wall in the corporate lobby.

Effectively communicating the vision means the business lives the vision it espouses; that the business means what it says and it practices what it preaches. You must "walk the talk" rather than just "talk the talk". The business leader must also insist that all managers model behaviours that are consistent with the organization's vision. It is through such action that all members of the business will believe in and live a meaningful manifestation of the vision.
Another way to communicate the vision is to share it at every opportunity. Repetition breeds awareness, acceptance, and understanding of your vision.  Most importantly, top leaders should use every opportunity available to them to share the vision and always act in a manner consistent with the vision.

Summary and Conclusion

A strong vision for a business can create energy and drive needed to push and pull teams and organizations forward. A strong and effectively communicated vision will be infectious, stimulating, and attractive to others and it will motivate them to achieve business goals and aspirations. People rally around leaders with a compelling vision and a clear sense of purpose.

Creating a strong vision is one of the most important functions a business leader can perform. A vision statement compels people to do something, change something, and become something. It is this drive that can transform a business into a strong, vibrant, rewarding opportunity for everyone who comes into contact with it.

You can reap the benefits of a strong vision by defining the core values of their companies, defining their purpose, describing what they see for the business in the future, and then clearly articulating, communicating, and living the vision at every opportunity.

Creating and communicating a vision is one of the most important activities a business leader can perform and all business leaders should understand the processes for crafting and communicating a clear vision. Once business leaders have created a sense of shared vision within their organization, they will be able to lead their organizations more effectively.

For further information on creating a vision or to help develop leadership at all levels within your organisation please visit our website or contact me directly on 0870 803 1710 or via email to