Seeing the Future Through Different Sets of Eyes

Creating or rewriting a vision statement can be an interesting and revealing process for an organization, with the reward of a tangible product at the end.  Purposefully taking the time to think about the future,  what your organization could look like in 5, 10 or more years, and dreaming of both achievable and more challenging goals can spur employees to really think about the company’s values, their own values, and how to reflect them  through their work lives.

However, that view of the future could look very different to an executive or mid-level leader than your frontline staff, team leaders and individual contributors.

Below are vision statement examples from a few well-known non-profits.  Can you think of some differences in understanding and perception of these, how they might be internalized, then explained to people outside of your organization, based on your employees’ various roles?

Creative Commons: Our vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.

Goodwill: Every person has the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.

Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.


Taking the time to think about your vision statement’s view from all the angles and all the distances can go a long ways in increasing understanding and support from all your organization’s employees.

Cindy Schneider

Cindy supports the Talent Management Division’s work in the HR Division at the Minnesota State system office.  She will complete her degree in Technical Communication & Professional writing this December.


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