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Watch Your Language: 5 Vision Statement Words You Need To Stop Using Right Now

Oh, the vision statement. You know what I’m talking about. That you-can-do-it statement painted on the break room wall that gets more coffee stains than attention.

If we’re going to be honest, usually that sentence is so jam-packed with marketing fluff that no one is even sure what it means, much less how it applies to the company. And don’t even get me started on how dreadfully long it is – if it gets any longer you’re going to need a bigger break room wall (and a nap).

Without a clear vision, though, the workplace gets out of whack. The employees lose sight of exactly what they are working toward, and all the endless meetings, emails and paper pushing lose their meaning. Without focus and purpose, your company will never gain the synergy it needs to succeed.

In order to clear up your vision, you need to clean up your language. Thankfully, Grace McLaren will walk us through the process of building a vision that will make synergy a reality during the Leadership Summit on April 24 (you can register here). Until then, here are five business-babble words that you need to stop using right now:

1. Quality

Quality service. Quality experience. Quality product. Quality blah, blah, blah. The word is so overused that it’s lost its meaning. Instead, stop and actually define what quality looks like for your company. If you want to provide quality customer service, maybe “quality” means no customer leaves without a smile. Decide what quality means for you.

2. Service

Did you know this is the most overused word in vision statements? Out of 301 corporate statements, the word “service” was used 230 times. We get it – everyone provides service. What kind are you providing? It’s time to implement the writer’s #1 rule: Show, don’t tell. Don’t just tell me you do A, B and C with “great service,” show me what that means.

3. Value

The definition for marketing in my college intro class was “creating value,” a vague definition for a vague profession. I’m sure your company creates value, too, and you’re not even a marketing firm. Of course, my next question is “what value?” Tell me exactly how your company makes my experiences more valuable. 

4. Customers & Employees

Congratulations! This is a 2-for-1. We already know for whom you are working (customers) and how you will be meeting their needs (employees), so you can just skip all that nonsense and tell us what it is you plan to do.

5. Best

I know, I know – we all want to be the best. I want to be the best blogger, and you want to be the best company who creates value through quality service from your employees for your customers. But, we simply can’t ALL be the best. So, let’s just hit the backspace on that one.

What about you? I know you have a secret list of vision statement words that sound like nails on a chalkboard to you. Leave your least favorites in the comments below – or tweet them to me at @MemphisChamber. But ... watch your language.

And don’t forget to sign up for the 2014 Leadership Summit before it’s too late.


-Jenny C. Fish
Posted: 4/14/2014 9:55:52 AM | with 1 comments
Filed under: blog, business, chamber, clean, employee, employer, event, guidance, ideas, language, memphis, small, statement, synergy, unity, vision




Comments
Teddy
I have a pet peeve that is simple to avoid yet so many Vision Statements have the phrase, "To be"... drives me crazy. A truly great Vision statement is Microsoft's old "A computer on every desk." That's a statement about the future of their world... same can be done for the smallest of businesses and their impact on a community.
4/16/2014 10:59:26 AM

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