BlogDagmar 25.05.2023

“High-level nonsense, is that supposed to happen?” How to create an impressive vision 

Brand development Marketing effectiveness Sales growth Marketing communications Conversion optimization

In my previous vision definition project, I received refreshing feedback. Complete honesty. In accordance with all the textbooks, we had involved people in defining the vision, and we were now looking for reactions, emotions and development ideas from what had been done so far. Honest feedback made me think about what a good vision is like and what is important about it. 

Read what conclusions Dagmar’s Lead Strategist Iida Marjosalmi reached. 

A good vision is not a group hug in an organization to please everyone. It is a magnet that attracts those who are inspired by it. Whether it’s a business vision, a brand vision, or even a marketing vision. 

Good vision is malleable. It takes time and change. It is attractive to those who adhere to the same values, and its benefits become concrete enemmän muille kuin visiotyön toteuttajille. 

Successful vision work helps the entire organization to turn in a common direction. This creates decisions in everyday life that guide the company towards the target state one small, even imperceptible step at a time. 

Achieving the desired future requires a shared vision of the future. But how to create one when everyone looks at things from their own point of view? While for those looking from one angle, the number looks like nine (9) and for those on the other side it looks like six (6). 

Don’t wait and see what the future holds – build it proactively 

Successful vision definition requires futures design, i.e. active influencing of the future. Studies show that companies that are proactive respond better to change, are more profitable and grow faster. 

Futures design focuses on examining future market opportunities and shaping the desired future. Futures design tools can be used to iterate, customer-oriented and participatory ways to imagine different futures and make them visible. [1] 

Invite different stakeholders to participate in the work on the future. Organize workshops, discussions, and joint creative sessions to gather ideas for the future. Also as a basis for vision work. 

How to create a compelling vision: turn it into a story 

Traditionally, vision work involves creating an intricate report on the target state, an impressive picture or a concise promise in sentence form, the meaning of the words of which is explained in more detail, for example: 

“We are a leading technology company creating innovative and sustainable solutions to global challenges. Our goal is to make the world a better place for future generations.” 

leading technology company 
Our company is a significant player in its field and we represent the top of the industry based on the quality of services and the number of innovations… 

Create innovative and sustainable solutions 
We develop existing and implement new solutions that are open-minded, but at the same time sustainable and responsible towards the environment, social responsibility and economic sustainability… 

global challenges 
identified global problems that require solutions around the world and cooperation between different organizations. Challenges that are particularly important to us are climate change, poverty, inequality and the loss of knowledge resources… 

Not very concrete, at least not in everyday life, is it? 

Different perspectives and excessive top-level can be managed when the vision is turned into a moving story on a practical level. A script that describes management, employee and customer perspectives – and what the organization would really look like once the vision is achieved. Even though the visions are unlikely to ever be realised exactly as they are. 

A narrative vision helps to unify different perspectives and deepen understanding of the desired future. However, it is not easy to derive business-specific decisions. Especially operational everyday life can seem very far from the vision. In addition to the vision story, it is worthwhile to create a business-specific target state that guides everyday decisions. A personalized sequel to the script, where the vision story is concretized from the perspective of the business function and to which business-specific goals can be linked more smoothly. 

From the point of view of the creators of the vision, the most important task is to keep the promise made in the vision. In addition to describing the future and an interesting story, we need a redeemed everyday life where decisions take the company towards the desired future. Or shape your vision to match successful promises. 

Finally, let’s return to the reactions and emotions that emerged in the process. Just talking about the future and defining a vision, let alone creating one, foreshadows change. And change always brings different reactions and, naturally, emotions into the picture. Some people get excited about the change and others get anxious. I believe a well-crafted story will help both. 

After these considerations, what is ultimately important about the vision? 

Looking to the future, a good story and promises kept – and above all, people. 


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