Vision & Mission: What’s the Difference?
Difference between Vision and Mission
Strategic planning driven by meaningful Vision and Mission statements helps create common goals within any organization, according to a recent BoardEffect article.
While the differences between these statements are often misunderstood or seem to overlap, they represent distinctly different guidelines to achieve organizational success.
- A Vision Statement should be a carefully conceived, forward-thinking notion of what the organization hopes to become. This statement focuses on the hopes and dreams of the owner or management group that intends to keep everyone working toward what matters most. It looks to the future and sets the goal line of success for all stakeholders to share. Progress toward this should be measurable and can serve as a vital motivator for your team.
- A Mission Statement is current, establishing what the company will be doing during the journey to accomplish the Vision. It should also touch on who the company will benefit, what it will do, and how to achieve its objectives while setting the guidelines for achievement. The Mission is intended to motivate team members to fulfill the strategic goals.
Deviation from these statements can lead to confusion and failure. Periodic review of your progress can “right the ship” before the organization veers too far off course to recover.
Software tools presented by Breakthrough with nearly two decades of experience can help you keep your focus while charting a rewarding pathway to a productive future.
Examples of Effective Statements
The Vision and Mission Statements adopted by some very highly visible companies might best illustrate the differences between the two. Here are examples that effectively clarify the differences:
Vision: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
Mission: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Note the time-relative differences here. Tesla’s Vision establishes a view of Tesla’s presence in the world far into the future, hopefully after decades of growing success in transitioning the public to electric vehicles.
On the other hand, their Mission projects an ongoing process designed to increase customer demand through innovation and recognition of electric-powered vehicles’ sustainable superiority. The organization started during the early 21st Century and expects to continue, always with an eye on the Vision.
Vision: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Mission: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
In this instance, Amazon’s Vision establishes lofty ongoing expectations by using words like “most customer-centric” and “discover anything.” While some might suggest that Amazon may have already achieved its Vision, the statement remains a beacon to guide all future efforts to maintain that position.
Alternatively, Amazon’s Mission Statement portrays what the organization will do each day to maintain its Vision. Lowest possible prices, best selection, and convenience are the underlying strategies that guide their way.
Creating Your Vision and Mission Statements
Start with your Purpose. Although your Vision and Mission Statements will serve as your guideposts during your organization’s evolution, the first challenge, according to Branding Business, should be to define your purpose. While Vision and Mission Statements encompass what you wish to achieve and how you plan to succeed, you should articulate why your organization exists in the first place.
The purpose should state the benefits your organization brings to the world. When your intention is “to be revolutionary in improving the environment,” for example, this can be a principal motivator for current team members and a genuine recruiting tool to attract new associates.
- Creating Your Vision
Having brainstormed the purpose of your organization, now consider what you wish to achieve. What would you like your company to achieve over time? What are your organizational values? And how would you want the company to be viewed in your industry or by the world-at-large?
The Vision, according to ClearVoice.com, helps teams focus on what matters most in all the planning and decision-making. With a steady commitment to the Vision, team members can better understand and support the overall goal. This should be:
Easily understood and straightforward– Complexity can lead to difficulty in understanding.
Measurable– Assessing the progress made toward the common goal is a powerful motivator for all.
Attainable- Creating an unattainable Vision can discourage team members when they realize that the expectation is impossible.
- Building Your Effective Mission Statement
The Mission Statement should be a key driver of your company. All objectives, action plans, tasks, and investments should be consistent with achieving the Mission.
In formulating your Mission Statement, company leaders should consider the following, according to Clear Voice:
- What do we do? – What products or services do we offer that will benefit our clients?
- Whom do we serve? – What group of consumers will benefit the most from our products?
- How do we serve them? – What methods do we employ to provide the best possible benefits to our customers?
Examples of Vision Statements
Besides the aforementioned examples by Tesla and Amazon, Oberlo cites several other inspirational Vision and Mission Statements that inspire and motivate team members (and customers) to high levels of commitment.
Here are three more examples of some inspirational Vision Statements:
- NIKE: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Their statement is footnoted with the founder’s commentary: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
- IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.” While this statement seems rather general, IKEA’s Mission Statement clarifies its purpose with a clear Mission to “Offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
- WARBY PARKER: “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”
Make an Effort to Get it Right
If your business is just starting out or you need to revamp your Vision and Mission while stuck in midstream, the time to act is now.
Since your Vision and Mission should guide all participants’ everyday activities and provide them with a sense of accomplishment, they should be simple and easy to remember, according to a 2016 Iowa State University article.
Keeping the essence of the statements simple yet thought-provoking is essential. All team members must be able to remember and focus their efforts and the tasks that support them.
While creating these statements with the help of Frictionless software tools, you will be able to construct sentences that cover all essential points, as well as edit out every word that seems unnecessary. Fewer words convey greater meaning and are easier to remember.
Also, note that while a Vision may not be altered, there may be times when an inspiring and strong Mission Statement must account for changes in the company, overall picture of the future, industry, or the development of new technology.
In other words, while a Vision of being a leading company in the industry may remain, how you will achieve that level can adjust. A periodic review of your Mission Statement and core values may “freshen” your objectives while infusing a dynamic company spirit and a positive attitude into your organization.
Get on Board with Breakthrough
Improving your business and strategic growth is a dynamic process. Business leaders who are extremely qualified to lead and pursue the company goals often need some assistance to formalize the objectives, strategies, ultimate goals, and content that pave the way for collaboration and coordination of all parties.
At Breakthrough, we offer a professionally developed and proven software that helps bridge the gap between the Company’s Vision and Mission and how it’s perceived in industry and target markets. It also provides an economical approach and a step-by-step framework for strategic and scalable growth.
To learn more about our collaborative tools and how they will help you formulate the right plan of action, visit Frictionless.