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You already know that every business needs a vision to succeed, but do you know what makes a vision really work?


The role and importance of a powerful vision in business strategy is not a new idea. It has long been recognized that an intense vision is the heart and essence of every successful person and organization.

A compelling vision inspires you when you are low and directs you when you are feeling lost. Most important, your vision helps you generate new ideas for your business.

What makes a vision compelling?

A vision statement should not just be some vague marketing statement. It should be based on understanding the difference your organization makes in people’s lives.

You see, a vision that is rooted in the difference your organization makes creates a compelling picture of the future that inspires commitment. It also offers your team a pragmatic lens for everyday decision-making.

Without this understanding, your business is more or less drifting without direction.

A powerful vision also makes your organization, your products, and your service solution unique by creating an environment conducive for a constant flow of creativity instead of churning out of yet another run-of-the-mill product or service.

Not to be repetitive, but to be crystal clear, the key here is the fact that without the tie to the difference that your organization makes, the vision simply doesn’t have enough drive and sustaining energy behind it to keep your people going.

Why should your vision be rooted in the difference you aim to make with your business?

Your organization has a much greater chance of accomplishing its vision if it is truly meaningful to your staff. If they see themselves as being a contribution to your business to make this difference, their work, choices and actions become genuinely compelling.

Of course, this difference is exactly what you hired them to accomplish in the first place, but when they genuinely feel that they are being a contribution in making it happen, they will be far more enthused and driven to achieve it.

Yes, “being a contribution” sounds esoteric and Zen-like, but it really actually works!

When people feel like they are being a contribution at work, they find pleasure in things that would otherwise be mundane. They wake up each day and bask in the awareness that they are a gift to others and consequently feel a higher satisfaction for their work.

Organizations whose vision isn’t rooted in the difference the organization makes tend to jump from task to task without a clear understanding of what bonds the individual actions together and/or the value created by the individual actions.

Therefore, as a leader, you need to start driving your business with the vision of the difference your organization makes and make it a point to show your staff and stakeholders that they are being a contribution to make that difference.

Chutisa and Steven Bowman are internationally renowned advisors on strategy, risk, leadership, governance and creating a culture of strategic awareness at Board and senior executive levels. Together, they have authored Leading from the Edge of Possibilities and No More Business As Usual.