Organizational Vision Statement: Definition, Purpose & Examples

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  • 0:00 Henry Ford's Vision
  • 1:03 Vision Statements
  • 1:56 Key Points
  • 3:00 Apple Vision Statement
  • 4:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

What type of vision does your company have? In this lesson, you'll learn more about organizational vision statements and what role they serve in a business, and explore a few examples of strong vision statements.

Henry Ford's Vision

When Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company in 1903, his vision was simple: to make automotive travel accessible to everyone. With that type of goal in mind, crafting a vision statement was easy. Ford said they wanted to 'democratize the automobile,' or make it affordable and available for all people.

Today, Ford is a much more sophisticated company, with a more robust vision statement that reads: 'People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people's lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.'

What is Ford trying to say through that vision statement? That they want to be global leaders who put the focus on people and operate in a cost-effective manner. That they want to achieve high performance and chart the strategic direction of their business by becoming the industry's top producer. Though Ford lags a bit behind General Motors in that arena, establishing a direction for where the company wants to go is critical, and that's where the importance of a finely-tuned vision statement comes into play.

What's in a Vision Statement?

A vision statement tells people what you want to accomplish over time and how your business can make things different through its purpose and activities. It provides the outside world with some insight about your goals and and how you want to be perceived. Vision statements are typically aspirational and inspirational in nature. They encourage your stakeholders, employees and customers to think in terms of what you're doing and where the company is headed.

Consider this vision statement from online retail giant Amazon:

'Our vision is to be Earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.'

This vision statement not only tells you what Amazon hopes to be, but also, what they can offer to its customers. Even though it may not be the most customer centric company out there right now, that's what its striving to become - the retailer where shoppers can find everything they need in one location.

Key Points

Some vision statements may be simple and modest, while others may be more lofty or complex. For example 'We want to be A leader' versus 'We want to be THE leader.' All vision statements should help an organization focus on the most important points of their business, like:

  • Where you want to be in five or 10 years
  • What the business's dreams and goals are
  • What motivates your business activities
  • How you're creating value for customers

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