No, I’m not talking about your eyesight. What I’m talking about is the vision for your business or organization. I’ve started listening to a podcast series by Andy Stanley that has really got me thinking about how to improve the vision for our businesses. Andy is a head pastor for Northpoint Community Church in the Atlanta metro area. This is a 14,000+ membership church spread over three campuses. Andy is recognized worldwide for his leadership ability and education and has published many books and CDs. Although aimed at church leaders, this podcast is totally applicable to any organization.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
In part 1 of this 5-part podcast Andy tells us that the vision for your organization has got to be simple. I love how he put it: “Paragraphs and complex sentences do not make for a good vision statement.” It’s got to be memorable and portable. He used as an example Barack Obama’s campaign vision. Ask yourself right now what was the vision for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The main premise he ran on? I don’t even need to write it here because you know it. Whether or not you voted for him, you knew what his platform was. Now, ask yourself, what was Hilary Clinton’s or John McCain’s vision platform? (Insert sounds of crickets here.) Exactly. Andy also used the vision statement for the ONE movement (co-founded by U2 headman Bono). “To make poverty history.” Simple. Yet, powerful. Two great examples of casting a simple vision that people could get behind.
BUT IT’S NOT COMPLETE
The immediate reaction you may have is that in each of the cases above, the full vision is not complete. With regards to ONE, what kind of poverty? Where? With Obama,whenever he got up to speak, people would challenge him on his vision for the country. And that’s just it. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to fill in the blanks when and where it’s more appropriate: on your blog; in your brochure; in your promo video. But in order to create something that will stick in people’s minds, something that people can get behind, it must be memorable and portable.
So ask yourself, “what is my vision statement. Is it memorable and portable?”