I am presenting a program Executive Directors that focuses on vision and strategy, so I raised the question to a worldwide group of over 14,000 professionals, educators, and executives specializing in strategic planning for nonprofits. Here are excerpts from the best of the responses that I received:
A good vision statement identifies why others outside your organization should care about what you do. We usually start by using the organization’s vision to help us identify the places we should look. Dell’s original vision was: “A world in which every human being has access to a computer”–an inspiring aspiration and legacy to be sure, but it also served as Dell’s linking point to other organizations– government entities, nonprofit or for-profit organizations–that shared that vision. Disney’s vision is succinct “To make people happy.” Their mission is “To entertain.” This broadened vision has led Disney into the cruise ship business as well as multiple other business ventures. S Worth, President Plexus Consulting Group
The greatest value of a vision is for the internal team. Once staff understand the vision – it helps them really understand what they can say “yes” to and when they have to say “gee, we don’t do that – at least for now” to. They really can be experts and not have to come back and ask their boss for permission to do something that really doesn’t fit. No vision – no strategy. Without a vision, all you have are to-do lists. L. Schoelkopf, Principal & CEO, Chasing Maybe
A vision is just that, something you can see! Imagine our vision at Project Unity for Life, “to stop the revolving door of incarceration”. Strategically, imagine a revolving door, how would you stop it from revolving? G Morris, Owner, G and G Consultants
(Find the) best strategy to reach vision with the assets at hand.
Share the vision.
Tweak and redirect the network into a cooperative movement toward the vision.
Strengthen existing drivers and develop additional new drivers where needed.
Produce sustainable resources for growth and development.
Empower the network with the ability to build.
R Cremeans, ED, Freedoms Way Foundation
I feel it is fruitless to create a strategic plan unless you have a clear Vision that everyone supports and embraces. M Lattman, Strategic Planning and Organizational Effectiveness Consultant
How would you answer it?