A mission statement is a short summary of an organization’s core purpose, focus, and aims. This usually includes a brief description of what the organization does and its key objectives.
A vision statement is a short description of an organization’s aspirations and the wider impact it aims to create. It should be a guiding beacon to everyone within the organization and something which underpins internal decision-making and determines the intended direction of the organization.
Mission vs. Vision
In short: The mission is the “what” and the “how,” and the vision is the “why.” There is no hard line between these definitions, and some can do both. Vision statements are more inspirational and mission statements are more tangible. Both are important expressions and guideposts of the board and senior leadership.
Why Mission and Vision Matter
With the increasing pressure on companies to articulate their views to employees regarding social justice, environmental and safety issues and the trend for younger employees to value their jobs more if they are aligned with a mission, there has never been a better time to examine your company vision, mission, and values. Perhaps they need a refresh or perhaps you’ve never articulated them or communicated them effectively. A great test for this is to stop a few random employees and ask them two questions:
· What is the mission of the company?
· How does your role contribute to that mission?
If you get blank stares or inconsistent answers, you may be unintentionally fostering an underperforming culture. Each employee, at any level of the organization, wants to believe they are part of a larger goal to create an excellent product or experience for its customers and contribute to the greater good. If you foster a culture with defined principals, they will be a compass to guide behavior where no specific policies exist. It’s been said that ‘culture beats strategy’, and if your company has not taken the time to articulate and communicate your vision and mission, you are missing an opportunity to build a committed, high-performance culture.
As CEO/COO leaders who have run organizations from hundreds to thousands of employees, we can work with you to define or refine your vision, mission and values to align with your personal views and the objectives of your enterprise and to create an effective communication plan. In uncertain times, nothing is more important than communication, whether it be internally with your employees and board or externally with your customers, prospects and the media – both traditional and social media. We look forward to working with you to develop and strategize to help hone these goals that will drive performance and success