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Top tips for creating a strategic vision

Top tips for creating a strategic vision

 
Vince Lombardi says that hope is not a strategy. A strategic vision is imperative for any business. A company's strategic vision encapsulates the business's values, goals and long-term direction and helps drive the business to its intended destination. In contrast, a lack of vision can be dangerous, as it means that there is no outline of where the company is heading.
 
Hays is committed to seeing businesses flourish and we want to share expertise regarding vision planning. We have been supporting employers with key insights for decades to help organisations grow and excel.


What is a strategic vision?

The strategic vision is the why behind the what; however, it is more detailed than a mere mission statement. Where a vision can be described as a destination, a horizon of sorts, a strategic vision also maps out how to get there and when. It comprises innovative ideas and strategic objectives for achieving short- and long-term goals.

Akin to the notable SMART goals, this differs from standard goal setting in that it provides tangible steps to take, measurable milestones, and clearly defined timeframes in which to achieve desired outcomes. It could be setting out milestones for short periods of time, such as three to six months, or setting long-term goals that span years.
 

Strategic planning

Before cementing a strategic vision, it’s worth starting with a collaborative strategic planning process. Strategic planning carves out space and time to brainstorm, pitch ideas, and identify how an organisation wants to progress. Do you want to grow your workforce? Do you want to expand across different cities? These are all things to consider during strategic planning.


What to include in your company’s strategic vision? 

The best strategic vision is one that is clear and comprehensive. Here are some key components to consider:
 
  • Define your organisation's core values: When communicating a vision, it is best to start with the why. Why does your company exist, and what solution does it provide? Establishing your company values is foundational and should be included in the strategic vision so people can understand the context and mission of the vision. For example, if you are an energy company, highlight that your company values and prioritises renewable energy sources or that you believe in increasing energy efficiency.
     
  • Future-oriented: Look towards the future and help others envision progress too. 
     
  • Be clear: A clear strategic vision, although comprehensive, should be easy to understand. Milestones and timeframes captured in strategies should also be realistic.
     
  • Achievable: Aiming high is essential but a vision must be realistic and achievable. For example, your business expansion plans may not be feasible in a timeframe of one or two months. When goals are actionable, this motivates staff to work towards them more consistently. 
     
  • Memorable: A strategic vision can be expansive on paper, but it should also have a summary statement or hook that is short, sweet and easy for people to remember.

How to write a solid strategic vision statement

The vision statement is a summary that encompasses your entire strategic vision. Here are some suggestions to consider when crafting a compelling vision statement:

  • Make it short: The goal is to make it memorable. Anything too long, no matter how inspiring, is easily forgettable.
     
  • Make it authentic: Your strategic vision statement should encapsulate who you are as a business and be believable to those you want to inspire and buy into your direction.
     
  • Make it relevant: Is it pertinent to the business purpose?
     
  • Make it inspiring: Use relatable and engaging language that best describes your organisation’s purpose. 
The best vision statement is one that's easy for everyone in your business to remember. Ideally, your business should inspire those involved so that they can easily explain what it’s all about if asked.


What are the key steps in strategic vision planning?

Once inspired, take the relevant steps to map out your vision.

  • Information gathering: You should take some time to engage with key stakeholders and perform market research on what attitudes are felt towards your business. The first step is gathering information to decide how you would like your company to develop. Listen to management, staff and critical voices involved in your business.
     
  • Defining critical team: Vision and success is more than a one-person job. Consider investing in a team or key personnel to help carry the vision. Define the key leaders in your organisation. 
     
  • Share the vision: Once a strategic vision has been established, it is best practice to share it with all personnel involved. 
Regardless of your business's stage, harness your vision to inspire everyone involved.


Why is it important to have a strategic vision?

A lack of vision can be costly. Strategic visions help ensure that everyone involved - such as leaders, board members, employees, and key stakeholders - is on the same page. They also help key decision-makers make informed choices. A clear strategic vision also creates a sense of purpose that inspires employees to find meaning in their work and motivates them to help carry the vision and culture.

The road ahead

A strategic vision ensures a strong pull to help move an organisation forward. To lead people, especially employees, into the future, you need to have an inspiring and memorable vision. Invest in a solid strategic plan and overall strategic vision. The road ahead is best mapped out. As Lee Bolman says, "A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.”

Hays has worked with multiple businesses in various industries and is invested in their growth. We are not just committed to your staffing solutions but the overall health and trajectory of your organisation. 

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