The Culture Secret – By Dr David Vik

Snippet from "The Culture Secret" - by Dr David Vik


The snippet below is from the book “The Culture Secret- How to empower people and companies no matter what you sell” page 19 – by Dr David Vik, former culture coach of Zappos, and master of organisational culture.

Make Your Vision a KISS – (as in “keep it simple, sweetie”)

I always advise clients that the Vision of a company needs to be a short, simple and repeatable slogan that doesn’t put boundaries around the company. I’ve read a huge number of “mission statements” that were two or three paragraphs long, detailing how the company was going to do, what it was doing or what it was making.

But I never could remember even a bit of it five minutes later. Perhaps the sentences were too long or wordy, but most likely – and more importantly – the mission statements had nothing to do with helping me out, whether I was an employee or a customer.

Two or three paragraphs is much too long. Just state what you are doing (Vision)and why (Purpose). The mission statement (the how) will follow with the creative genius of your employees.

My feeling is that you as the leader, don’t have to state the how in a mission statement; let your employees figure out that piece on their own.

Keys To Creating Your Vision

When creating your Vision – or updating or transforming the one you have – use the following as a guide:

  • Make it current, compelling, inspiring, and motivating.
  • Make it a KISS
  • Short
  • Easy to remember
  • Repeatable
  • Implement your Vision among your employees, so that everyone knows it and can say it quickly and easily. Over time, try to whittle it down to six words or less. You may not be able to, but the exercise will help your statement be as short, memorable, and repeatable as possible.
  • You also want to tie a Purpose with it. (We’ll discuss that in depth in the next main section.) But make sure your Vision is short enough to allow folks to remember it and the Purpose, too.

As an advisor and coach, I have had many opportunities to talk to company employees about their company’s vision. Most believe that their company has a Vision; generally however employees have been unable to share it with me for one of the following reasons:

  • They don’t know what it is.
  • They don’t understand it.
  • They are familiar with the Vision but cannot repeat it because it is too long or complicated to remember.
  • The Vision is muddled in a long winded mission statement that makes little sense to them.

Luckily, these challenges can be remedied.

A Vision needs to be simple, repeatable, and well understood by the employees so they can be in alignment with it.


If you’d like to learn more about vision statement, mission statement and organisational culture in general check out The Culture Secret by Dr David Vik. Chapters include:

  • This is what we are doing – Vision
  • This is why we are doing it – Purpose
  • This is what will fuel us – Business Model
  • This is what makes us stand out – Unique/WOW Factors
  • This is what we care about – Values
  • This is what is and what could be – Culture
  • This is empowering and passing the torch – Leadership
  • This is the group of champions – Human resources or human empowerment
  • This is essential to the process – Customers and customer service
  • This is what they say about us – Brand
  • This is the pot of gold if we do it right – Experience & the emotional connection
  • Conclusion
Organisational Culture - The Culture Secret
Dr David Vik – former Culture Coach at Zappos



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