Why should you have a vision for your company?

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Surely you have heard of such a thing as a company vision. Of course, you’ve heard that there is such a thing, that it would be appropriate to have one, to arrange it, to formulate it. Just what is it actually and why does anyone need such a “thing”? On top of that, we are often confused about the difference between vision and mission, and mission is confused with strategic goals, so let’s start from the beginning.

Do you realize that everything starts with a big want? This may not be a very businesslike statement and you won’t find it in any management textbooks, but no enterprise would be created if the owners or employees of the company didn’t want something very much and didn’t want to pursue their dreams. Such a dream about your company – what it will be like after a year or after five years – allows you to move forward and overcome difficulties, which are always greatest at the beginning (further on they also seem greatest, but that’s not quite true…).

When is the company’s vision created? Well, most often not when you want it. If you want to make an appointment with your partners or employees at 9:00 a.m. a week from now for a vision meeting, it’s not exactly a good idea. Of course, at some point you will have to sit down, discuss thoughts together, write something, correct, edit. But this is not that stage! For now, wait for your own thoughts….

A vision of a company, a venture, a project or a selected business of a company is most often formed when we have a glare on some matter we are concerned with. Such a picture of the future appears in our imagination suddenly, as if from nowhere. However, we need to remember it well and try to operationalize it (a difficult word, operationalize means translate) into a company’s mission (or venture) and then into goals.

When, as a young doctoral student, a specialist in management, I was hired at the Department of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia in Katowice (today the K. Kieslowski Film School), in addition to working with – as it later turned out – wonderful students and contacts with outstanding filmmakers, I was given a completely unusual task for me: to make WRiTV international!

I had a big problem with this – I didn’t know what, how, when, with whom… That is, I couldn’t answer any of the manager’s basic questions. One day I walked into the student bar at our old headquarters in Katowice OPT and saw a Pole, a Ukrainian and a Turkish girl (who was, in fact, our only foreign student) at the table. And then I got a dazzle – suddenly I saw such an international company at all the tables in the room. Suddenly it was crowded and bustling with different languages. I sensed with my senses what we want to achieve in a few years.

I ran to my room and quickly wrote down a simple vision for WRiTV: We are a fully international film school, being among the top five film schools in Central and Eastern Europe. From this vision came the signing of more than 80 agreements with other European universities, hundreds of Erasmus students, dozens of foreign professors teaching with us, etc. When I finished my work as Pro-Dean of the Film School, we were the most internationalized department at the University of Silesia in Katowice, leaving our competitors in other cities far behind. None of this would have existed if not for the vision….

In summary, the vision of an organization (company or part of it) is its image in the future. It is a dream of the management (owners, employees), the realization of which the organization will strive to achieve by engaging all the necessary resources (!) and launching the appropriate processes (!).

The organization’s vision must answer questions in 5 areas:

1. who will be our audience? (Responsibility)

2. what problems will we solve? (Business domain)

3. what entities will cooperate or compete with us? (Business environment)

4. what will be the measures of success? (Standards of success)

5. what should be the operating principles of the organization? (Organization of the business)

In my opinion, the last question is not worth answering too early. It is also often difficult to put it in a short, concise way. Question 5 can be left until we clarify the organizational culture, which I will write about in future blog posts.

How do you properly write down the vision of your form in the form of answers to the above questions? Take a look at two examples. The first is for DHL, and the second is for LOT. The numbers in parentheses indicate the answers to the questions you read above.


(1) Customers trust DHL Poland as a leading partner, providing (2) integrated express services and logistics solutions, being (3) an integral part of a multinational corporation. DHL Poland leads the logistics services (TSL) industry in terms of (4) quality, profitability and market share.


LOT is the (3) first choice carrier (4) for (1) customers (2) traveling to and from Poland.

I will describe how to link the company’s vision to its mission in the next post.