Your Vision or Purpose – Are They Helping or Hurting Your Organization?

In a recent blog, I talked about Where to Look for Organizational Pain. Over the next weeks, I will be exploring each of those locations where organizational pain can reside, in a little more depth. I will also provide some tools or methods for finding the root cause of the pain, so you can begin relieving the pain in the discussed area.

The first area I explored was Are Your Customers in Pain?

The next area we will explore further is with your Vision or Purpose


Your Vision or Purpose defines not only who you are, but also what you want to be. If you are not clear about who you are, or want to be, and/or do not communicate it frequently, anyone associated with your organization – inside and outside – will be confused or you will miss opportunities. Having no clear and concise Vision or Purpose can cause pain throughout the organization. Focus on the three C’s for Visions and Purposes: Make sure they are clear, concise and communicated.

Begin Probing

Like a doctor does with us as patients, ask questions and probe so you can properly diagnose the real issue and begin working to relieve it.

Here are some questions you might want to ask your customers, yourself, your leadership team and your employees:

      1. Is your Vision or Purpose defined – i.e. written down?
      2. Is your Vision or Purpose succinct and easy to understand?
      3. Is your Vision or Purpose compelling enough to allow you to stand out and rally others around it?
      4. How, who, when and where do you communicate your Vision or Purpose?
      5. Does your Vision or Purpose embody your highest order realization for the organization?
      6. Can your external stakeholders find your Vision or Purpose?
      7. Do all your employees know your Vision or Purpose?
      8. Do your external (e.g. Customers) and internal (e.g. Employees) stakeholders ‘see’ your Vision or Purpose in your behaviors, priorities, products and services?
      9. Do you review and revise your Vision and Purpose on a regular basis?

Each of these questions can lead to a number of additional questions before you can properly diagnose the root cause – keep asking until you get there!

Tools and Methods

Here are some tools and methods to consider in ensuring your Vision or Purpose is doing more good than harm:

      1. Facilitated Visioning Sessions
      2. Facilitated Focus Groups
      3. Customer/Employee Surveys and Analysis
      4. Vision or Purpose Communication Plan
      5. Storytelling Techniques to Communicate your Vision

What do you Think?

Is your Vision or Purpose working well for your organization?

If not, where is the breakdown occurring?

What tools or methods would you propose to ensure your Vision or Purpose are helping rather than hurting your organization?


Next week we’ll explore the Organizational Pain associated with your Strategy, Goals and Objectives. Want help with your organizational pain? Click here to find out more.

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