If writing your vision statement feels like assembling IKEA furniture without instructions, you’re in the right place.
Here is how to get unstuck writing a vision statement:
Get unstuck when writing a vision statement by identifying core values, envisioning future success, simplifying language, seeking feedback, and using creative methods like storytelling and brainstorming. If all else fails, get a coach to help you rewrite your vision statement.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to get unstuck when writing a vision statement.
What Is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is not just a sentence — it’s the heartbeat of your ambition, the north star of your journey.
It’s a clear and inspirational declaration of what you aspire to achieve in the long-term.
Unlike a mission statement, which outlines the purpose of your existence now, a vision statement propels you into the future.
It’s a vivid and compelling picture of what you aim to create, often encapsulating your values and aspirations.
In its essence, a vision statement is a signpost pointing towards the future you intend to create. It’s a source of motivation and a reminder of your ultimate goals.
Crafting a vision statement requires introspection, foresight, and a dash of creativity.
It’s a journey into the heart of what truly matters to you or your organization.
Types of Vision Statements
Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand the different types of vision statements that exist.
Each type serves a unique purpose and paints a distinct picture of the future.
- Aspirational Vision Statements: These are bold and broad, focusing on achieving high-level goals. They inspire by setting lofty ambitions.
- Targeted Vision Statements: Focused and specific, these statements pinpoint a particular area or outcome to be achieved.
- Innovative Vision Statements: Centered on breaking new ground, these statements highlight a commitment to innovation and pioneering new paths.
- Ethical Vision Statements: These highlight a commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices, reflecting core values.
- Customer-Centric Vision Statements: Focused on the customer experience, these statements aim to create a specific impact on the customer base.
- Employee-Focused Vision Statements: Concentrating on the welfare and growth of employees, these statements foster a supportive work environment.
- Community-Oriented Vision Statements: These emphasize a contribution to the community or society at large.
- Sustainability Vision Statements: Focus on long-term environmental and sustainable goals.
- Quality-Focused Vision Statements: Centered around delivering the highest quality in products or services.
- Growth-Oriented Vision Statements: Concentrated on the expansion and scaling up of the business or organization.
11 Tips for Getting Unstuck When Writing a Vision Statement
Sometimes, the hardest part of writing a vision statement is just getting started.
Here are 11 creative tips to help you get unstuck.
1. “Dream Big, Start Small”
This method encourages expansive thinking followed by a narrowing down process.
Initially, allow your imagination to run wild and envision the most ambitious outcomes for your organization or project.
This could mean imagining breakthroughs, massive growth, or revolutionary changes.
The key is not to limit your thoughts by current constraints or practicalities.
Application: Begin with a brainstorming session where all ideas, no matter how grand, are welcomed. Document these ideas without judgment or analysis. Once you have a broad range of possibilities, start filtering them through the lens of realism and feasibility.
Identify elements from your big dreams that are achievable and can form the basis of your vision statement.
This approach helps in bridging the gap between lofty dreams and actionable goals.
2. “Back to the Future”
This technique involves envisioning your organization’s future success and working backwards to the present.
It’s about identifying the pinnacle of your achievements and then charting a path to get there.
This future-focused approach can often clarify what your immediate vision should be.
Application: Start by imagining a future scenario where your organization has achieved its greatest success. What does this success look like? What have you accomplished? Write a fictional press release or news article celebrating this future success.
This creative exercise helps you identify the core elements of what your organization aims to achieve.
In doing so, it provides a clear target for your vision statement.
3. “Values as Vessels”
This method emphasizes the importance of your core values in shaping your vision.
It’s based on the idea that a vision rooted in deeply-held values is more authentic and motivating.
By aligning your vision with your values, you create a statement that not only guides your future direction but also resonates on a personal level.
Application: Start by identifying the values that are most important to you or your organization. These might include innovation, integrity, community, sustainability, or customer satisfaction. Reflect on how these values might manifest in the future of your organization.
Craft your vision statement as an expression of these values, showing not just what you want to achieve.
But also how you want to achieve it.
4. “The Storytelling Approach”
Humans are naturally drawn to stories.
Therefore, using a narrative format can make your vision statement more engaging and memorable.
This approach involves framing your vision as a story, complete with a setting, characters (your team and stakeholders), and a plot (the journey towards your vision).
Application: Write a short narrative describing the future you envision. This could be a day in the life of your company after achieving your vision, or a story of how your organization changed the world for the better. Focus on the emotions, the transformations, and the impact. Then, distill this story down to a concise vision statement that captures the essence of this narrative.
5. “The Problem-Solver”
This technique focuses on the problem that your organization or project is uniquely positioned to solve.
By framing your vision in terms of the solutions you provide, it becomes more concrete and actionable.
This approach is particularly effective for organizations focused on innovation, social change, or customer service.
Application: Clearly define the problem or challenge your organization aims to address. Think about the ideal scenario in which this problem is resolved. How does the world look with this problem solved? Your vision statement should encapsulate this scenario, highlighting the role your organization plays in creating this positive change.
6. “The Inspiration Mosaic”
This method involves gathering a diverse array of inspirational materials and synthesizing them into a coherent vision.
By looking at quotes, images, stories, and even examples from other organizations, you can form a more comprehensive and inspired view of what your vision could be.
Application: Create a physical or digital mood board. Collect anything that inspires you – images, quotes, articles, or examples of other organizations’ visions. Look for common themes or ideas that resonate with you and your organization’s goals. Use these insights to craft a vision statement that reflects this collage of inspiration.
7. “The Conversational Catalyst”
Dialogue with others can unlock new ideas and perspectives that you might not have considered.
Conversations can challenge your assumptions, provide validation, or spark new thoughts.
This method leverages the power of collective thinking and feedback.
Application: Engage in discussions with team members, customers, mentors, or even friends about your vision. Pose open-ended questions, listen actively, and encourage honest feedback. Use these conversations as a sounding board to refine and validate your vision statement.
8. “The Simplification Strategy”
Complexity can be a barrier to clarity.
This method involves stripping down your vision to its most basic elements. A simple, clear vision is often more powerful and easier for others to grasp and remember.
Application: Write a draft of your vision statement, then challenge yourself to simplify it. Remove jargon, unnecessary words, and convoluted concepts. Aim for a statement that can be easily understood by someone outside your industry or organization.
That way, you know it is simple enough to actually help focus your daily actions.
9. “The Visual Voyage”
A visual approach can often clarify complex ideas.
Using tools like mind maps or vision boards allows you to visually organize thoughts, see connections, and identify key themes.
This method is especially useful for those who think more clearly in images than words.
Application: Start by creating a mind map with your central goal at the center. Branch out with related ideas, goals, and values. Alternatively, create a vision board with images and words that represent your future aspirations. Look for patterns or recurring themes in your visual representation.
These can form the basis of your vision statement, translating abstract concepts into concrete words.
10. “The Reflective Retreat”
Sometimes, stepping away from the task at hand can refresh your mind and bring new insights.
This method involves taking a deliberate break from writing your vision statement to engage in reflection or a different activity.
It allows your subconscious mind to process ideas in the background.
Application: Take a short break from writing. Engage in an activity that relaxes you, such as walking, meditating, or listening to music. Allow your mind to wander freely without focusing on the task of writing the vision statement.
Often, a period of disengagement can lead to a breakthrough idea or a new perspective on your vision.
11. “The Collaborative Canvas”
This approach emphasizes the power of collaboration in crafting a vision statement.
It’s based on the idea that collective input can produce a more well-rounded and inclusive vision.
Engaging with a diverse group of stakeholders, be it team members, partners, or even customers, can provide a range of perspectives that enrich the vision.
Application: Organize collaborative sessions where different stakeholders can contribute their ideas and aspirations for the organization’s future. This could be through workshops, brainstorming sessions, or surveys. Encourage open and honest dialogue and ensure every voice is heard. Gather all the input and look for common themes or goals that resonate across the group.
Use these insights to create a vision statement that reflects the collective aspirations of all stakeholders.
How to Get Unstuck Writing a Vision Statement Template
Getting unstuck in the process of writing a vision statement often requires a structured approach.
A template can serve as a roadmap, guiding you through the necessary steps and ensuring that all vital aspects are covered.
Here’s a template to help you get started:
How to Get Unstuck Writing a Vision Statement Examples
Sometimes, examples can spark inspiration and provide a clear direction.
Here are a few examples to help you get unstuck:
- For a technology startup: “Empowering businesses worldwide through innovative software solutions that drive efficiency and growth.”
- For a nonprofit organization: “Creating a world where every child has access to education, nourishing their potential for a brighter future.”
- For a small business: “Revolutionizing the local food scene by delivering unique, farm-to-table culinary experiences.”
- For a health and wellness company: “Fostering a healthier world by inspiring holistic well-being and nurturing mind, body, and spirit.”
- For an environmental organization: “Championing a sustainable future through groundbreaking eco-friendly initiatives and global conservation efforts.”
- For a fitness brand: “Transforming lives by making fitness accessible, enjoyable, and life-changing for everyone.”
- For an educational tech company: “Revolutionizing learning by integrating cutting-edge technology to make education engaging and universally accessible.”
- For a fashion brand: “Redefining style by blending contemporary fashion with ethical practices, promoting sustainability in every thread.”
- For a financial services firm: “Building financial security and prosperity for individuals and businesses through innovative and trustworthy financial solutions.”
- For a community arts organization: “Enriching lives by cultivating creativity, community engagement, and appreciation of the arts.”
- For a travel company: “Connecting cultures and creating unforgettable experiences by opening doors to the world’s most extraordinary destinations.”
- For a food and beverage company: “Delighting taste buds and nourishing lives with our commitment to quality, health, and flavor innovation.”
- For a digital marketing agency: “Elevating brands by crafting unique digital experiences that resonate and engage in an ever-evolving online world.”
- For a renewable energy company: “Powering a cleaner, greener planet by leading the transition to renewable energy sources.”
- For a legal firm: “Advocating for justice and fairness, protecting rights and shaping a more equitable society for all.”
- For a pet care brand: “Enhancing the lives of pets and their owners by providing exceptional care, products, and services.”
- For a real estate agency: “Transforming the property landscape by connecting people with their dream homes and creating lasting communities.”
- For an event planning business: “Creating unforgettable moments and experiences, meticulously crafted to exceed expectations.”
- For a human resources consultancy: “Empowering organizations by fostering a culture of growth, engagement, and productivity.”
- For a mental health advocacy group: “Breaking down barriers and changing perceptions to create a world where mental health is understood and supported.”
How to Rewrite a Vision Statement that Sucks
A vision statement might “suck” if it’s vague, overly complex, or not inspiring.
To rewrite it, focus on clarity and simplicity:
- Identify the Core Message: Extract the fundamental idea or goal from your existing statement.
- Simplify the Language: Remove jargon and complex terms. Use simple, clear language.
- Make it Inspiring: Ensure the statement is motivational and aligns with your core values.
- Seek Feedback: Share the revised statement with others and refine it based on their input.
Here’s an example:
- Original: “We endeavor to be the global leader in the provision of state-of-the-art technological solutions that enhance operational efficiencies.”
- Revised: “Leading the tech industry with innovative solutions that simplify and improve business operations worldwide.”
Here is a good video that will help you get unstuck when writing a difficult vision statement:
Final Thoughts: How To Get Unstuck When Writing a Vision Statement
Crafting your vision statement is like painting the horizon of your business landscape – vibrant, far-reaching, and full of possibilities.
Explore more possibilities for your writing by checking out one of our other blog posts below.
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