How a Vision Can Change Your Organization | Aileron

As Aileron’s community spends time and energy in January doing the meaningful work of vision-setting, it’s the perfect time to revisit your organizational vision and ensure it is providing the direction your organization and team need. When done well, a vision can have a monumental impact on the organization, its people, and the bottom line. Here’s how.

A vision confirms your organizational clarity

Vision-setting is difficult work — partly because it forces focus.

By definition, a vision is the clarification of the organization’s dream for the future, which means to create one, you need to be clear about where you want the organization to grow or the kind of impact you want it to have on the world.

If your vision isn’t clear, it’s going to show up as a clunky, confusing vision. The process of articulating your vision can expose how directionally clear (or directionless) the organization is.

A vision aligns your team to a shared big picture

Without a shared direction, it’s easy for teams or team members to work toward competing goals; different departments might have differing priorities, individuals might have divergent concepts of where the businesses headed, and all this variation can cause confusion and resource misallocation.

On the other hand, when everyone in an organization is aligned to a common vision for the future, they can prioritize work and make decisions that support that direction, moving the collective organization toward the same vision synchronously, and in turn, faster.

A vision inspires connection to something better

When team members are aligned on the big-picture aim of the organization and the way it makes an impact, they’re able to clearly see the bridge between their work and the difference it makes. This connection imbues the day-to-day with meaning, empowers employees to feel a deeper sense of purpose in their work, and connects individuals to something bigger than themselves.

Examples of great visions

Great vision statements are clear, concise, and compelling. Here are a few examples of visions we love, plus our own.

  • Iams: To be recognized as the world leader in dog and cat food
  • Southwest Airlines: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline
  • Google: To provide access to the world’s information in one click
  • Whole Foods: To nourish people and the planet
  • Amazon: To be earth’s most customer-centric company
  • Aileron: To be a thriving community that raises the quality of life across America

A way to take your vision a step further

When thinking of a vision, a single sentence like the ones above might come to mind; there’s a time and a place for a vision statement. But visions can be articulated, documented, and shared in a variety of ways.

In Clay Mathile’s Founder’s Intent for Aileron — a four-page clarification of his hopes and dreams for the organization — our founder shared not just a sentence, but a collection of guardrails that continue to guide Aileron, including:

  • The core focus of the organization
  • The organization’s four cornerstones
  • Hopes for what Aileron doesn’t become
  • The beliefs that drove his founding of the organization

In sharing with us his detailed perspective and dream, Clay armed our organization with a long-term vision for the future that we reference as we grow, make decisions, and continue to perpetuate his dream.