I sat in on a morning “stand up” meeting at a client community today, and they ended their meeting (and started the workday) with a recitation of the company vision statement led by a department head: “Our Vision is to create a radiant organization where people are loved, inspired and thriving.”

Three things hit me about that simple act: 

The Vision Statement is part of their day, every day, at least once. It’s not hidden in an employee handbook or on a sticker in a desk drawer. It is expressed and repeated daily as a reminder of why this group of people does such an extraordinary and difficult job for their residents and families.

The Vision Statement is short enough and simple enough for normal people memorize and recite it in unison. It is not full of corporate-speak or crammed with too many ideas to be understandable. It doesn’t sound like it was¬†written by a committee.

The Vision Statement provides common ground for each team member to measure their own performance and decisions. They said it out loud in front of their peers, and thus made a commitment to live it. They may not always hit the mark, but when they do, they’ll have that feeling of being fully aligned with the rest of the organization.

When we work with a company to create or refine their vision, mission and values, it’s not just an exercise to make executives feel good. There are people who go home each night wondering if they lived up to it, and people showing up in the morning prepared to commit to it. Let’s be sure the Vision Statement lives up to their expectations!