When talking about mission and vision, we usually think of them in terms of statements. These statements have their own purposes. While learning how they differ may not be a life-changing experience, it can change your perspective on one’s task/duty and one’s future goals.
A statement that is made for educational facilities, companies, or organizations, that is used as a way of explaining and expressing the purpose of the organization. Usually, this statement remains unchanged for a long period of time and will only be updated when an organization evolves. It is normally short, simple and informative in the way it outlines the organization’s purpose.
What a mission statement should be:
- Serves to filter out what is more important from what is not
- States which markets will be served and how
- Expresses a sense of intended direction for the entire organization. (Leading to one’s vision)
According to renowned educator, speaker, business consultant and author Dr. Chris Bart, a mission statement should consist of:
- Key market: Who is the target client or customer
- Contribution: What are the services or products you can provide for a client
- Distinction: What makes your services or products unique to attract clients
Mission statements are not only helpful to the clients, but also a great way to provide a right path or direction for the organization. It helps the business make better decisions and leads them to the future goals of the organization. It also imposes a clear purpose that can remove any potential ambiguities of an organization, making it clearer and probably even more rewarding.
A statement in which an organization’s objectives are declared, based on economic foresight and with the intention to guide their decision-making. It is a defined direction for a company to follow. Simply put, it is a company’s road map to improvement and growth. It is a statement that is formally written in short sentences or multiple pages and usually undergoes minimal revisions.
Traits a vision statement should have:
- Clear: Defining a prime goal
- Concise: easy to understand and remember
- Future-oriented: expresses where the company is heading
- Challenging: Not something that can easily be obtained and discarded
- Stable: Has a long-term perspective and is future market or technology-proof.
- Abstract: Has ability to encompass all of the company’s interests and its strategic direction
- Inspiring: To motivate employees to reach the company’s goal
Implementing and creating a vision for a company presents a challenge and acts as an inspiration. A well-written vision should be balanced, meaning it is not too idealistic or too easy to attain. It should also have the motivational factor and serve as a foundation for a broader strategic plan. It is what the owner/founder wants for the company to achieve in the future.
While both are statements that provide a sense of direction to a company or organization’s future plans, they are used for different purposes.
Mission statements, unlike vision statements, are not something that the company is longing for, but is what the company is currently capable of. It is what answers the questions “what are we providing” and “what is it for”. As defined by the Business Dictionary, a vision statement is what an organization would like to accomplish. A mission statement on the other hand is all about the organization’s purpose and objectives, expressed in a clear, concise way that leads to their vision statement. In other words a mission statement is a path the company is currently on that leads to the vision statement or future goals.
|States ‘HOW’ to achieve your goals||States ‘WHAT’ your goals are|
|Talks about the current or present that leads to the future||Talks about the future|
|Lists the prime function internally and defines key measures of the organization’s success||Lists where one see themselves years from now and acts as inspiration and motivation|
|Answers the questions: ‘what we do’, ‘for who’, ‘for what’, and ‘why’||Answers the questions ‘how do we want it to be’, ‘when’, and ‘where’|
|States the purpose and values of the organization||States clarity and hope for realistic aspirations|
|Usually is short and informs||Usually is long and inspires|
Here is a video explaining further a mission and a vision.