07 Mar Add Some Magic To Your Company’s Mission And Vision
When Walt Disney founded his company in 1923, it was built on his dream to create magic. One of his most famous quotes about Disney is that “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.”
Almost 100 years later, Disney is still synonymous with magical imagination, even though Walt Disney passed away in the 1960s. What has kept the Disney-train on the magical track to success is the brand’s strong and inspiring vision that continues to steer it today.
A Future Fuelled By Imagination
The word ‘vision’ is defined as “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.” In the business world, it means that a company’s strategic vision should be an ambitious view of the future that inspires everyone in the organisation. It must be a statement that uniquely embodies the purpose of the company and how it will impact the future in a profound way.
Walt Disney understood this.
Instead of falling into the trap that most companies do, they didn’t pen down generic, over-used words such as “We want to be the leading company in our industry by so-and-so date.”
This sentiment is a business objective – not a vision.
We’re All Young At Heart
If you were in an interview, and asked your potential employer to describe the company’s purpose in one sentence, you wouldn’t be falling over your feet to work there if the answer was something like “To provide innovative and value-based solutions to clients with integrity and purpose-driven passion.”
On the other hand, if the response was “To release the inner-child in all of us,” (Disney’s mission) your interest would be peaked immediately – it is unexpected, relatable, unique, and inspiring.
What also makes this sentiment so powerful is that it sums up the Disney brand. It has been, and still is, a clear guide for everything this company takes on – from theme parks, movies, toys, clothing, and even retirement villages.
Their vision breaks all the ‘rules’ – it isn’t measurable, has no specific target audience, and uses no jargon. And because of this, it’s one of the strongest and oldest brand visions.
Beware The Boring Mumbo-Jumbo
According to author and consultant William Schiemann, only 14% of employees understand their company’s strategic vision and direction, reports LeaderChat.
The main reasons for this is that a company’s vision is usually born in a boardroom by top management – it is then buried somewhere in a cupboard and never shared or explained to employees. If it is, it is usually a sentiment that is generic and meaningless to the vast majority of staff, who in fact, are the brand’s ambassadors.
A vision is therefore so much more than a few lines of copy. It must be a company’s benchmark in everything they do. Every step a brand takes, should take it towards its vision.
Disney is a great example of a brand that implements its vision throughout– from employee training, to product extensions, to customers’ (they call them guests) experiences. Disney has an entire R&D department called Imagineers with the sole job of dreaming up and designing creative ideas on how the company can turn fantasy into reality. As part of their staff employment procedure, recruiters look for something Disney calls ‘the smile factor’ – people who have the type of smile that lights up their whole face.
Shoot For The Moon
With a company’s vision affecting so many elements of a brand’s potential success, it is surprising that the majority of businesses invest so little in the process.
To ensure that a brand has a strategic vision, a brand strategy is first required as a foundation. This strategy, and consequently vision, should guide the company for at least the next decade. For this reason, it is advisable to involve professionals that specialise in brand- and communication strategy.
Once a unique space for the brand has been identified, a sentiment should be crafted by a copywriter that understands the purpose and role of a vision and mission statement. And then, most importantly, it shouldn’t be filed away somewhere on a forgotten server – it should be shared with staff in an inspirational way so that their purpose, and the company’s, lives in their hearts.
Ideally, all employees should reply like the janitor who worked at NASA in the 1960s.
During a visit to the space centre in 1962, President John F. Kennedy introduced himself to a janitor cleaning the halls.
“Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”
“Well, Mr. President,” the janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”