V + M = Winning
“What your startup does best, how it creates value, and the focus (capabilities that matter).”
Collins and Porras define two different aspects of vision: Core Identity and Envisioned Future. Vision is an image of how the organization sees itself.
An aspiration the organization holds for its future (although difficult to achieve), which provides direction.
Shared vision in an organization, integrates the effort towards a future state. Effective strategic management in a startup should begin with the organization articulating the vision for the future (long term intentions which are broad, inclusive, and futuristic).
Commonly agreed characteristics of strategic vision include:
- It is a desirable future (big picture of the future of the organization).
- It is brief.
- It is clear, and relatively stable over time.
- It is considered necessary for effective leadership, and is challenging enough to inspire organizational members.
- It is a process of inducing others to work together in achieving a common goal.
- It involves a desirable outcome, which is achievable with time.
Vision + Mission
Elements of the Vision and Mission are often combined to provide a statement of the company’s purposes, goals and values. Bain & Co. suggests that the development process for writing Vision and Mission statements include:
- Clearly identifying the corporate culture, values, strategy and view of the future.
- Addressing the commitment the firm has to its key stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders and communities.
- Ensuring that the objectives are measurable, actionable, and achievable.
- Communicating the message in clear, simple and precise language.
- Developing buy-in and support throughout the organization.
When the strategic vision is understood, people in the organization can more easily identify what they have to do in the organization, in order to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
Collins and Porras suggest that the strategic vision might be difficult for the organization to actually achieve however;
It provides direction and energy to work towards that envisioned future.
In the Collins and Porras framework for vision, the final element is a ‘vivid description‘ or picture of the end-state that completion of the mission represents (North Star). This end-state is essential for bringing the mission to life. A vivid description also gives the mission the ability to inspire and motivate. The main elements of the Collins and Porras vision framework contains:
Core Beliefs and Values + Purpose = Guiding Philosophy
Mission + Vivid Description = Tangible Image
Source: J. Collins and J. Porras, Havard Business Review
Vision & Mission (4:00)
The importance of having a compelling vision and mission.