When I work with fellow allied health professionals, I often hear people say, “I am not sure where I am headed” or that they started a practice and are finding it hard to plan for where they might end up, having never been in practice before. I get that! Sometimes, it can be hard to work out where you are going if you have not been in that situation before. But a vision for your practice is really important. How to write a good one? Glad you asked!
The vision of a practice consists of your aspirations and a view of where you are going. When there is a well-worded and thought out vision, implementation of the strategies you need to make your vision a reality, becomes much easier. What makes a good vision though?
It certainly needs to be articulated clearly. For it to be a useful tool, it needs to convey what you want your service or practice to look like and provide everyone around you with an understanding of what they are working towards. So you need to put pen to paper! There is no point keeping it up there in your head.
Before you get started, the vision is different from the mission… where a vision sets out where you are going, the mission is focused on the present purpose and scope of the practice. The mission is the “who we are, what we do and why we do it”.
To get you started on your vision, here are some do’s and don’ts to think about when you start writing it down:
Ensure you are thinking of the future and describe what you think things will look like up ahead.
Ensure your vision is achievable and in the realms of what you (and your team) are capable of. Over time you should be able to show measurable gains towards the vision.
Ensure the vision is easily communicated to others and they understand the language you have used and that it is not too long.
Avoid being vague or generic e.g. “to be the best practice in New South Wales” is probably not a great choice as it is not specific enough. Avoid writing a vision statement that could easily be applied to any private practice. Make sure it reflects the individuality of your aspirations.
Avoid sounding bland and uninspiring! You need to read your vision and be excited in yourself to work towards achieving it.
Avoid claims where you will be “the best team” or the “most successful practice” or “the largest” as this can imply there is not enough specifics to then guide your pathway.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your current vision statement and re-read it and see if it articulates clearly and specifically where you are headed. If you haven’t ever written one, now is the time!