Vision, purpose, values, voice and story. How to get them right.

Sharon Tanton

Getting your strategic concepts muddled? Here’s my way of being clear whether I’m talking vision, purpose or story.

Vision, purpose, values, voice, story. We’ve been thinking a lot about these concepts in relation to strategy and branding recently, and sometimes the boundaries between them can get a bit blurred.

Here’s my way of being clear whether I’m talking vision or purpose, using a 1971 New Seeker’s song that we had to sing at school. (You might know it as the infamous Coca Cola ad that appeared at the end of Mad Men.)

Everything you need to remember about these key strategic concepts is captured in this song. Apart from some great harmonising and inspirational fashion tips, here’s what we can take from it.

Vision: A beautiful world where everyone lives peacefully together

Purpose: To teach the world to sing in perfect harmony to bring about world peace.

Values: Love. Harmony. Collaboration. Education. Wishful thinking.

Voice: Harmonious. Sweet. Clear. Memorable.

Story: Why we hit upon group singing as the key to world peace. E.g. Once upon a time we walking in our apple orchard thinking about war when a snow white turtle dove fluttered down and we knew it was a sign …..

Try this exercise for your business

  • Vision: What’s the change you want to see in the world?
  • Purpose: How are you going to make that change happen?
  • Values: What values do you need to hold to make the change happen?
  • Voice: How are you going to communicate so that people know it’s you and want to listen?
  • Story: Why are you doing this? What’s your ‘once upon a time?’

Give it a go for your business. I hope it helps.

(And so sorry for the ear worm. I apologise.)

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