12 April 2017

Comparison of Vision and Mission

Comparison of Vision and Mission Statements

Vision and mission statements serve diverse purposes in every company and are frequently confused. Understanding the difference between the two will help you capture the right information when you draft them for your company.

A mission statement describes what a company is currently striving to achieve. It is applicable to the present – to what is going on in the office and on the shop floor right now. The mission statement can be used to define the company’s customers, critical processes as well as the desired performance levels.

​A vision statement outlines the company’s future goals and objectives. Vision statements are intended to be a source of motivation and inspiration. Frequently, the vision statement also describes the change in society or industry which the company seeks to bring about.

What Is a Vision Statement?

A company’s vision statement defines a mental picture and desired future state of the business. Normally, it provides inspiration and guidance on what the company wants to have achieved in approximately five to ten years. The vison statement acts the ‘pole star’: a fixed reference point against which company employees can understand their daily work and how it contributes to achieving long term goals. It should be written in a succinct and inspirational manner, making it easy to remember. While the company’s leaders may change, a well established vision should encourage employees to focus on the long term, important issues.

Many companies feel a need to ‘update’ or ‘refresh’ their vision statements. Often, this is used as an excuse to cover up some other aspect of management that isn’t going too well. Vision statements provide bedrock: keep changes to a minimum.

When drafting an effective vision statement aim for clarity and zero ambiguity. Readers should immediately envisage a bright future, realistic aspirations, and see the alignment with the organisation’s culture and values.

What is a Mission Statement?

An organisation’s mission statement tells the reader how an organisation intends getting to where it wants to be. It defines the primary objectives and purposes related to team values and customer needs. The function of a company’s mission statement is to list the broad goals that led to its formation. The mission statement is an internally facing document that explains how a company measures success. Mission statements should be tied to customers’ needs.

Vision and Mission – Purpose

Vision and mission statements serve different purposes. The mission statement guides decision making and day-to-day operations. It assists in “rallying the troops” as well as in tactical planning around a common goal. The mission statement plays an integral role in getting the members of an organisation on the same page, ensuring that know what to do and how to do it.

On the other hand, the vision statement serves a higher calling. It outlines the company’s worldview and the reasons it exists. It helps in attracting people and engaging them in the firm’s long term objectives.

Vision Statement – Features

An effective vision statement ought to communicate several points. For example, the organisation’s long term goals, a clear, vivid and unambiguous view of the future. It should include achievable and realistic aspirations and align with the company’s organisational culture and values.

Mission Statement – Features

The mission statement should tell you what a company does, what benefit it creates and for whom. An effective mission statement should feature the values and purpose of the organisation – the main objectives that support realising the organisation’s mission.

A number of businesses have had to refine their mission statements over time, either based on customer feedback, or varying economic realities. Such companies have changed what they do, who they do it for, or how they deliver value to their customers. Once employees understand the mission statement of a company, they get a better perspective on how their work will contribute towards achieving it. This in turn increases their productivity, engagement and retention. Clearly defined mission statements also help employees understand organisational changes, company-wide resolutions and resource allocations.

Well written vision and mission statements help in strengthen company culture through a unified purpose. The clarity they provide improves decision-making and enhances cross-functional relationships.

​References:

1.http://www.diffen.com/difference/Mission_Statement_vs_Vision_Statement

2. http://www.glennsmithcoaching.com/mission-vs-vision-whats-difference/

3. http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/strategic-planning/vision-mission-statements/main

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