Again and again during the past year, Vancouver-based executive advisor Bruce Stewart’s clients have told him that they are rewriting their IT vision statements.

“Good! Far too many of those documents are dispiriting pablum that no one can remember anyway,” said Stewart, a former CEO and onetime senior vice president and director of executive services at Meta Group Inc.

Vision statements are about what you want your IT group to be in the future; they aren’t about who you are today, he said. They need to be short and memorable and leave lots of room for each member of the department to make the vision his own through what he himself does. Most of the IT vision statements Stewart has seen lately are still stuck on making the IT department ‘utility central’.

“Let’s understand something here,” he said, “running a great utility service is not particularly inspiring, and it’s firmly rooted in the present.”

Retiring a tired old vision statement is a good thing; living up to a good new one is the path to greatness, Stewart concluded