A corporate entity needs a vision because “where there is no vision, the people perish”(Proverb 29:18). This quotation from the holy writ aptly captures the essence of vision both at individuals and corporate level. Vision is important in that it guides and perpetuates corporate existence. Vision is viewed as a mental picture of a compelling future situation. It originates from creative imagination, the act or power of perceiving imaginative mental images or foresightedness.
Corporate vision could be thought of as related to intuition. This is, however, not to eliminate other sources of corporate vision. Corporate vision can be associated with external agencies imposition of strategy or vision and, they can be deliberately formulated as part of strategic planning process. Notwithstanding the process leading to the emergency of vision, from strategic management perspectives, corporate vision creates a picture of a company’s destination and provides a rational for going there – Somewhat of a roadmap of a company’s future. Essentially, corporate vision represents the dreams, wild aspirations of the company as may be stated by the top executives or founders of the organisation.
Corporate vision is the desired future state of the organisation; an aspiration around which a strategist might seek to focus the attention and energies of the organisation and strategic decision makers or founders must first have developed a mental picture, a mental image, of a possible and desirable future state of the organisation. They emphasized that the critical point is that a vision articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organisation; a condition that is better in some ways than what now exists. Corporate vision delineates management aspirations for the business, providing a panoramic view of where are we going and why
Consequently, the vision statement should be a necessity and a useful management tool for giving an organisation a sense of future direction for a viable corporation. A future direction that becomes real when the vision statement is implanted in the minds of organisations members and then translated into concrete mission or purpose for the organisation.
This demands the communication of corporate vision to decision makers and top level managers. It is only on this ground that they can be emotionally committed to making the vision a reality. The awareness of why, where and how the organisation and its competitors will be competing in the future creates a vivid image that provokes emotion and enthusiasm. Visions, in our considered opinion, indicate aspirations and the mission statements indicate tasks to be accomplished and their pursuits are in terms of specific corporate objectives, strategies and operating policies anchored in production and operations management capabilities
A corporate vision is the corporate future picture. It is a challenging and imaginative picture of the future roles and objectives of an organisation, sometimes, significantly going beyond its current environment and competitive position. It may, therefore, be a highly desired possibilities that may not be attainable. It is an inspirational resonance of desires, values and possibilities which overlap. There are compelling reasons for organisations to develop strategic visions. It is argued that visions provide desirable challenge for employees and stimulate organisations mission positively. In addition, it is suggested that exploration of new development areas outside existing boundaries and resources are often the product of a vision that requires careful explorations and development.
The relevance and appropriateness of a corporate vision statement can be judged on five criteria: foresight, breath, uniqueness, consensus and action ability. Reasoned considerations of these variables should help a vision-less organisation to develop one.