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Published by Yakambram Govindu

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Published by: Yakambram Govindu on May 03, 2011
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What is a vision statement?


Ross Parmenter

A vision is defined as a picture of future greatness, a definition of core values, and a

lighthouse towards the frontier. Your vision must make sense to others, stretch your

imagination, give an ‘aha’ effect, but at the same time be within the bounds of possibility.

Your vision statement describes the grand idea of what you are about, the future as you

want it to be: ‘I am in the business of...’ The vision statement must be reasonably precise

yet still provide a general direction to your consulting business.

Coaching point

While some of these exercises in this section may appear time consuming and not directly

linked to deliverables, investing in this areawill produce long term bene¢ts for you and your

consultingbusinessthrough greater focusandraisedmotivation.

The vision statement tends to be abstract, high level, without much concrete detail. It has

also been compared to the North Star: high above, constantly present, universally known,

guiding direction. The purpose of your vision statement is to guide your decision-making,

provide a yardstick to keep you on track and provide inspiration in achieving your goals.


Examples of Vision statements from organizations are:

Oracle:ToenabletheInformation Agethrough networkcomputing.

KepnerTregoe:We focus on the human side of change through providing skills development



innovative solutions.

Case study:Frank’s vision

Frank defined his vision as ‘To help call centres optimize their productivity’. He believed this

provided a good overall direction, but that it did not limit him to only process reengineering.

Key words in his vision statement were ‘call centres’ (this could include technical support

and customer service centres), ‘optimize’, ‘productivity’. He wanted to ensure that any work

he conducted would have a tangible bottom line effect on the company. ‘If it did not make a

difference at 9 on a Monday morning, he would not have succeeded.’


A mission statement communicates the vision by considering several critical variables:

What is it that the organization wants to do?

Who is the organization’s customer?

38 / Be a Successful Consultant

What Type of Consulting Business Are You Running? / 39

What are our values?

What profit do we need to make?

When you are getting started in your consulting business, using a vision statement alone,

with key result areas is probably adequate. Adding another level of detail may make the

process too complex.


T|me out!

A man was passing awork site and saw three bricklayers. He approached the ¢rst bricklayer

and asked ‘What are you doing?’ The man answered,‘Making a living.’ He asked the second

manthe same questionand he answered,‘Laying bricks.’He askedthe third worker the same


tofeelasthoughyouare buildingacathedral,notjustlaying bricks ormakingaliving.

Exercise 3.1 De¢ningyour vision statement

Take a moment and think about the following questions:

– Why do you want to be a consultant?

– What is it that you primarily want to achieve?

– What do you want your customers to achieve using your services?

– What is your ultimate theme?

– What is the reason your consulting business was created?

– What would success look like for you?

– Think of an ideal day: what would you do? Who would you work with?

Where would you work? What would be the result?

– Think of some times you felt really motivated: what were you doing? With whom?

– What made it motivational for you?

Now try to write your vision statement in the space below:

My vision statementis:





Now check your vision statement using the following questions.

Yes No

& & Does your vision statement energize you?
& & Does your vision statement reflect all the services you could provide?
& & Can you remember your vision statement without referring to a written


Share your answers with friends and consultants to get feedback.

Now integrate these ideas to create a more focused vision statement. Make sure it

answers the earlier questions and that it consists of less than nine words to ensure

that it is easy to remember.

My vision statementis:





Coaching point

Creating a vision statement will take you some time to complete. Often the ¢rst ideas you

come up with tend to be more detail oriented. If this is the case you will need to continue

re¢ning the statement by talking to friends, professional acquaintances and prospective

customers.T|meinvestedinthisareawillreaprewards for yourbusinessinthelongterm.

40 / Be a Successful Consultant

What Type of Consulting Business Are You Running? / 41

Case study:Marie

Marie defined her vision as ‘To provide consulting services to allow individuals and teams to

maximize results’. Although the statement is a little long, she believes the vision

encompasses the critical direction of her business: the key words are ‘consulting’, and

‘individuals’, ‘teams’, and ‘results’. She would have preferred to say ‘develop their

potential’ but she thinks that these words might not be acceptable in the business


Common challenges that arise in trying to define a vision include being too specific, too

‘pie in the sky’; not able to share with customers, or appearing as if they are not related to

business objectives.

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