Best vision statement?

OK, I admit it, I dropped the ball on this one.  I posted this question back in July to LinkedIn Answers and didn’t get back to rate it until September.  I feel bad about it, but life sometimes intervenes.

As mentioned recently, my work group had an offsite recently and as part of that we christened a new mix of development teams.  The reorg was meant to align some assets using similar technology and with this new combination, we worked on coming up with a vision statement.  The final one is still under construction (which serves as a reminder to my boss, who is also a reader), but coming up with some inspiring statement that unifies the work a lot of people are doing together is a really difficult thing to do.  Hence, me asking the question.

As I wrote on LinkedIn:

“My group was part of a reorg recently and as is often the case when such things happens, we were tasked with coming up with a vision statement for our group. A single sentence that everybody in the organization could point to and understand not only what our larger goals were but what their part in it is. Asking several dozen people to write 1 sentence is hard enough, asking them to write a sentence that does all that is even harder. 

So, what’s the best vision statement you ever heard and why? 

Mine is ‘. . .I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him back safely to the earth.’ 

I like it because it has an measurable and easily understood success metric and a deadline (although one that was missed).”

My favorite answer was provided by Russell Macdonald, who wrote:

“One of the most famous vision statements ever created was that of General Electric under the former leadership of CEO Jack Welch. The company’s vision was: ‘To become the most competitive enterprise in the world by being number one or number two in every business in which we compete.’ Ask people ‘what are you going to be remembered for?’, or at the organisational level ‘what are we going to be famous for?’. It helps them think of something specific.”


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