How-To and Help / The Big Picture (Strategy)

Vision: The View from 50,000 Feet

The vision helped us define what we wanted to do
— Marc Benioff, SalesForce.com
Vision is simply a combination of three basic elements: (1) an organization’s fundamental reason for existence beyond just making money (often called its mission or purpose), (2) its timeless unchanging core values, and (3) huge and audacious—but ultimately achievable—aspirations for its own future
— Jim Collins

What:  A vision for you, the individual, your team, or your organization, outlines the future in which you want to live (as it relates to your organization and the people it serves). It is a mental model that describes a scene, complete with a setting and contains enough information to inspire creativity and inform decisions. A vision gives you the "view from 50,000 feet" where the full terrain is visible;  it frames the "big picture."

Why:  More and more research shows how our mental images and internal narratives (our "vision") shape our actions; and how such vision can inspire and guide teams.  A clearly stated vision helps people spot opportunities for improvement and innovation and can attract top talent and customers. 

The evidence also says self-motivation is more important than any one tool - our vision can drive us to overcome considerable challenges.  

The predictable creation of the future (the goal of planning and management) hinges on whether we, as people, remain aware of the vision our mighty brains work to fulfill; and remain intentional about where we focus our energies. 

Where: In ResultMaps, you can reference your personal vision, your team vision, and create vision boards with imagery when it's helpful.  You can see it in the Big Picture Canvas views, and from any team detail pages.

Next: Get more specific about focus and results with a mission.


Methodologies and frameworks that use vision statements

These methodologies and frameworks include (or reference) mission statements at the personal or organizational level.

  • Anthony Robbins time management, personal development and business development methods offer some of the most fun and energizing vision building exercises.

  • The Entrepreneurial Operating System outlines vision as a must-have component of a healthy business.

  • FranklinCovey planning methodologies walk people through imagining their eulogies, and use the idea to "begin with the end in mind".

  • Strategic Planning for Dummies takes you all the way through high-end change management firms.

  • Mark Benioff's V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles and Measures) takes you through an exercise of visualized awareness to reach alignment.

  • David Allen's Getting Things Done includes this level of detail as one of the Horizons of Focus.

  • Most enterprise change management and performance management methodologies involve at the very least some form of statement about "future state".


Organizations that use vision statements

We've collect company vision statements from dozens of companies.  Some came from  blog posts, interviews, key note addresses, or from explicit statements of company vision on their on their Web sites.  Companies like Lego, Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX, SalesForce are present, among many others.  View our collection of company vision statement examples here.



A world where technology helps people design a beautiful future, and inspires and aides in the creation of that reality.

ResultMaps vision