In a previous post we discussed the need for a strong Vision as a way to inspire people to join you in your pursuit of making the world a better place. It is an important part of your story which can be used to attract talent, customers and investors.
How do you create your Vision? – We share here a 3-step process to get you started.
First you need to understand what your Vision is. Read this post.
Next, I recommend answering the following 4 questions which I have used with dozens of founders in my sessions at MassChallenge. The best results will come if you can be honest and detailed in your answers.
1. Purpose: What is my company’s reason for existing? Why do what I’m are doing? Why now?
2. Values: Why do it this way? What are the values by which we operate and which will guide us as we pursue our goals? How do we do it better/different than everyone else?
3. Impact: What is the ultimate impact we want to have on the world? What is the utopian future we are creating?
4. Customer: Who is my customer? Why does my customer need me? What do I need to be able to provide so as to allow my customer to benefit from what I offer?
If you are a team of founders then using brainstorming techniques to develop your answers will be very helpful once you have each answered these questions individually.
Some tips for getting good results when answering these questions:
- Keep it simple and clear
- Think long-term (5-10 years out)
- Dream big yet stay rooted to reality
- Focus on factors that will drive success
- Make sure you can convey your answers with conviction
The last step is to test and refine till you are happy with your end result. One way to test yourself is to try and define specific goals and metrics by which you can evaluate the realization of your vision. If you can’t identify these yourself then, most probably, others will not be able to do so either. Another test to share your vision with others – family, friends, mentors, etc. – and get their feedback. Did they react with a resounding “can I join you?” or were they more like “ok, good luck!”?
Developing a strong vision for your company will take numerous revisions. It is a process that ultimately tells a story across time – where you have been, where you are today and where you want to be in the future – which requires iteration to both hone the message and learn to convey it passionately.
The final product of these exercises is intended to be a paragraph or two, not necessarily a single sentence or statement. It should be future based – aspirational and motivating. It should be a clear message which drives your business forward. These will in turn be used to further develop your Mission Statement (one sentence) and Elevator pitch (1 minute). We will cover these in future posts.