Almost every organization has some kind of mission and vision statement. My understanding of a mission statement’s purpose is to list several goals and founding ideals for the organization. A vision statement is a shorter, concrete expression of the organization’s goals for the future.
However, does every employee of every organization know the vision statement for their organization? In several places where I worked, we would get handouts every year; small photocopied, laminated Mission and Vision statements. Did anyone ever read those?
Tonight I was at a great DCWW event given by Kristen King on Social Media. It was held in a building of a company I had not heard of previously, but as I was walking out I noticed their vision statement stenciled on the wall. There for every employee, and guest, was their “invent the future” statement. Theirs is a lofty vision statement, but it lays out a clear goal for every participant within those four walls to see.
Similarly, in a major healthcare institution where I consult, there is a long, busy hallway that connects two major buildings. And there, on the wall, are the Mission and Vision statements. The vision statement is one sentence and the goal is so clear. It reads “Blank institution will be the preeminent healthcare institution in the world.”
Lofty? Check. On display physically for everyone (employees, patients, guests, potential employees) to see? Check.
On their website? Maybe. I know I couldn’t find it.
And the company who had their vision statement stenciled on their wall? Couldn’t find it on their website either.
It is time for those vision statements to be included in the conversation on websites, to be public, to be a part of the public persona of organizations. Because those lofty goals, those “invent the future” statements; they serve to encapsulate that organization. It’s the “stuff” they are working hard to be. And in 5 seconds, when someone is looking at your home page, or your About Us page, isn’t it worth it for them to SEE what you’re all about?