Monthly Archives: October 2013

Vision is an end state

A brand's vision is how you know that your organization is a success.We hear a lot about vision. It’s often a gauzy, uncertain, poorly communicated thought about where a person or organization may be going or may want to be going. It’s like the word “dream,” but translated into corpro-speak.

In the context of brand, and as a component of mission, vision, and values, it is ideally more concise and points to an end state for the organization or the community within which the organization exists. Going back to Lady Gaga (from a previous post), her vision may be to be the undisputed pop culture and music icon in the world. For Google, perhaps their goal is a world in which people can find the exact information they need when they need it (while also clicking through their ads).

Vision is an end state. It is how you know that your organization is a success. For a homeless shelter, perhaps it is to have there been no homelessness. For your organization, it may be to be the leader in your sector or industry. These visions needn’t be 100% realistic, they are aspirations.

A quick note about doing it wrong. We hear a lot about sustainability these days yet one of the most fundamental “visions” of many organizations is exactly unsustainable–that is to say, “growth.” If growth is your final goal or vision, it is very much unsustainable in that there is no way to know it when you get there. It is an unsatisfiable conclusion because it doesn’t indicate the end state.

So, what is your organization’s ultimate goal? When will you know that you have done what you set out to do? For your organization to set their vision is to put forward, hopefully for all to see, the moment you will know that you have arrived. Vision should give you, not only something to reach for, but to actually guide your progress by.

Working together, values, mission, and vision tell you why you do what you do, what you actually do, and what you hope all this activity will eventually lead to.