There is a lot of confusion associated with vision and mission statements. They may sound like the same thing, but they’re not.
The vision statement is strategic and long-term, while the mission statement is tactical and short-term. Following is some clarifying information that will help you create or rework these important documents. A well-thought-through mission statement can lead to shaping your business plan, while your vision statement is the foundation for your strategic plan.
As you create your vision statement, keep in mind that it:
- Focuses on the future
- Is the source of inspiration and motivation
- Captures the future of your organization and the industry
- Expresses how your organization hopes to affect change
An example of a strong vision statement is by Microsoft: “Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device.”
Now that you’ve got your vision statement, work on your mission statement, which:
- Concentrates on the present
- Defines your customer
- Alludes to critical processes
- Quantifies desired levels of performance
An example of a strong mission statement is by Nissan: “Nissan provides unique and innovative automotive products and services that deliver superior, measurable values to all stakeholders in alliance with Renault.”
I encourage you to create and/or revisit your vision and mission statements and make sure they are structured as we’ve discussed.
Having well-structured mission and vision statements and keeping them in mind will enable you to accurately and succinctly respond to the questions, “What does your company do?” and “Where is it going?”
What are some examples of strong mission or vision statements that you know of? What kinds of challenges or successes have you had with creating these important business documents? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.