(Strategic) Vision

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Description of (Strategic) Vision. Explanation.


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Strategic Vision

Definition (Strategic) Vision. Description.

A Vision is the desired future state at which a company and its leader hope to arrive. Essentially the strategic aim of the corporation. It is the imaginative picture of the future state of affairs a firm wishes to achieve. Vision comes from Latin videre - to see. A vision is typically a type of aim at a high and less-specific level in comparison to a medium-level Objective or a low-level Target.

Visionary Leadership

According to most people having a vision is one of the most important assets a 'true' leader should bring to the table. Some people argue that visionary leadership is just one of a number of valid Leadership Styles.

In the corporate reality it's clear that more people aspire for a strategic vision than there are people who actually have it...

Vision versus Mission VERSUS Purpose

A vision should not be confused with a Mission (the motives, drivers, principles which set a firm in motion: the combination of the corporate purpose, strategy, values, standards and behaviors) nor with Moral Purpose (a value that, when it is articulated, appeals to the innate sense which is held by some individuals of what is right and what is worthwhile).

Elements of a Vision

Four common characteristics of a strong and powerful vision are:

  • Gives forward guidance and direction
  • Is ambitious and imaginative
  • Is daring or stretching
  • Is energizing and mobilizing

Features of an Effective Vision. Guidelines

Based on a study, Kantabutra and Avery (2010) developed seven features of effective visions:

  1. Brief: Effective visions are brief and consist of up to 22 words. This briefness is needed to easily communicate and remember the vision.
  2. Prime Goal: An effective vision should direct attention towards a prime goal. Such a vision is easily understood and thus does not need extended explanation and discussion.
  3. Abstract: Although a vision should direct attention towards a prime goal, the vision should not point to a specific one-time goal that can be eliminated after having accomplished the goal. Rather a vision should be abstract and cover business activities of the entire company even in the long run. allowing individual interpretations. Allowing individual interpretations increases the base of stakeholders that can support the vision and allows for creativity.
  4. Challenging: A vision that is challenging encourages employees to maximize their efforts to achieve the desired results. Furthermore, a challenging vision is difficult to achieve. This leads to the fact that employees can increase their self-esteem when achieving the vision.
  5. Long-term Perspective: An effective vision should express the longer-term business perspective and should take into account the future environment in which an organization operates. The reason is that only when offering better future prospects, organizational members can be inspired and thus can be committed to fulfilling the vision.
  6. Stable: Visions should not need to be changed in reaction to short-term changes such as new technologies. Rather, effective visions should be flexible in order to allow for  short-term fluctuations.
  7. Directly Inspiring: Organizational performance can only be achieved through others (staff and employees). Therefore a vision must be able to increase the staff's motivation to work for the organization’s objectives. As a result, effective visions should be inspiring and desirable.

Vision versus Strategic Intent

A vision is similar to Hamel and Prahalad's Strategic Intent: an ambitious and compelling dream that energizes; which provides the emotional and intellectual energy for the journey to the future.

Vision Statement

Often, the strategic vision is reflected in a summarized form in the Vision Statement.

Creating a Vision

Creating or developing a corporate vision is crucial, but extremely hard to do. Seeing the future early and accurately and making sense out of it involves a lot of creativity, Lateral Thinking and intelligence. Several phenomena from psychological origin are causing difficulties in developing a vision properly, see for example Groupthink, Cognitive Dissonance, and Cognitive Biases.


Source: Kantabutra, S. and Avery, G.C. (2010) “The Power of Vision: Statements that Resonate” Journal of Business Strategy Vol. 31 Iss.1 pp. 37-45

Strategic Vision Forum
  The Vision of Globalization of Leaders
What do you think about the vision on globalization of leaders today? What skills and methods should a leader use, particular in times of globalization?...
For a number of years I have attended numerous seminars and company briefings where people have talked about VISION and MISSION, However these two term seems to be use interchangeably by people.
I have always thought of VISION as "where we are g...
  Be the First to Be Moved by your Vision!
One influential woman in leadership once said:

"Before your faith can move a mountain it should first move your mouth".

I believe the same applies perfectly well to your vision. We all want to achieve great thi...
  WHEN to Introduce the Vision and Mision to Employees?
I wonder what is the best moment to communicate the vision and mission to employees?
I think it's best to make the workers know about the vision and mission of the organization right from the beginning when they're hired (part of  
  Should a Strategic Vision Be Achievable?
Strategic visioning and formulating a mission are far from simple.
One point of contention is how the vision should translate to the mission and then to the goals.
In the literature there are 2 thoughts on this--one argues that visions are ...
  Organizational Vision and Employee Empowerment
Please help me with some ideas on how to relate organizational vision with employee empowerment.
I can see that a stong and well formulated organizational vision has a motivating effect on emp...
  The Importance of having a Vision (and Strategy)
Having a vision is really important as well as your strategy. But between the two, there is a priority.
It’s very important to know that vision comes first.
At some point in time when you have the right vision, the right strategy w...
  Components of Vision
The vision is 'the dream of the entrepreneur'. It's the corporate ambition.
It is a company's view of the role it plays in the market. Visions may relate to three components:
1. Opinions about where the company believes...
  Your Strategic Journey in the Desert
A vision is like the Pole (North) star... You can follow it, but never reach it. It guides you to the oasis (your goals and objectives) usin...

Strategic Vision Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group


Best Practices - Strategic Vision Premium
  Strategic Foresight
Strategic foresight often uses future views and scenarios to help envision how the future could look like. The aim is NOT to PREDICT the future, but to make participants of a process AWARE of possible futures and thereby to be READY, both mentally an...
  The Cathedral and the Importance of Communicating the Vision and Mission
Three stonemasons (stone workers) are working on a construct...
  How Do You Measure Vision?
Regardless of the business process or approach the fundamental overarching concept most "difficult to develop, assess or manage is vision". Try it.
I invite commenters to address how they measure "vision" or how they know good "vision" f...

Expert Tips - Strategic Vision Premium

Organodynamics: the 3 Laws at the Basis of Performance in Organizations

Sherwood (2014) introduces the concept of organodynamics, a concept that explores the level of performance that can be achieved by organizations. In o...
Usage (application): Strategic Performance Management, Leadership, Corporate Mission, Corporate Culture

The Role of Rhetorical Competence in Charismatic Leadership

In past research, only little attention was paid to the relationship that exists between Charismatic Leadership and Rhetorical Competence. An interest...
Usage (application): Charismatic Leadership, Storytelling, Visionary Leadership

Innovating by Reconsidering Value Delivery

When innovating their business model, companies need to reconsider their value proposition from all perspectives. One of the perspectives is how compa...
Usage (application): Fundamental Innovation

Meta-cognition (Meta-thinking) in Strategic Thinking

Most businesses are primarily concerned with the type of thinking that tries to make complex problems or interconnected and multidimensional issues ma...
Usage (application): Schools of Thought, Strategic Thinking, Scenario Thinking, Strategic Assumptions, Strategic Reasoning

The Role of the CEO in Strategic Change Initiation

In management literature the role of the CEO in formulating and implementing strategic change has often been emphasized.
An interesting view to s...
Usage (application): Communicating Strategic Change

Resources - Strategic Vision Premium

Speech Steve Jobs on Connecting the Dots

Legendary speech by former Apple CEO and innovation guru Steve Jobs in which he tells 3 stories that together explain what is behind his immense succe...
Usage (application): How to Create a Revolutionary Vision: 'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish'

Change Management versus Change Leadership

This video explores and explains some differences between Change Management and Change Leadership:

CHANGE MANAGEMENT is defined as a set of...
Usage (application): Understanding the Difference Between Change Management and Change Leadership

How to Improve Strategic Decision Making?

In this video Michael Mauboussin, Credit Suisse's Head of Financial Strategies, briefly explains parts of Philip E. Tetlock's Model of 3 areas that ar...
Usage (application): Strategic Decision Making, Cognitive Bias, M&A, Corporate Finance

Steve Jobs on Brand Strategy and Core Values

In this video Steve Jobs gives a presentation on Marketing and Core Values. He argues that in this noisy and complicated world companies do not have m...
Usage (application): Marketing, Branding, Strategic Vision, Core Values

Summary by Deepak Chopra on 'True, Enlightened Leadership'

Indian writer of many alternative and spiritual books Deepak Chopra explains what he believes is "True Leadership": Great leaders are

Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream...

Arguably the most famous visionary speech ever, the 'I Have a Dream' - speech by Martin Luther King.
August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

Usage (application): Documentary on Martin Luther King

Interview with Richard Branson on Entrepreneurship

Richard Branson on Business:
Entrepreneurship is all about painting a picture, creating something really special and making the whole picture (fu...
Usage (application): Entrepreneurship, Starting a Business, Workshops, Trainings


Strategic Vision


Strategic Vision


Strategic Vision


Strategic Vision

Compare with: Strategic Intent  |  Ashridge Mission Model  |  Moral Purpose  |  CSFs and KPIs  |  VMOST  |  Business Models  |  Corporate Charter  |  Storytelling  |  Strategic Analysis

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