Everyone knows that an organization has to have a mission and a vision. However, not everybody knows the impact and the importance of these statements, or their purpose beyond that that is written on the website or stated during company presentations.
Clearly, missions and visions, are a common factor in every organization, and again, clearly they have a bigger purpose than just a decorative addition to websites. In this article we will discuss how mission and vision can shape up an entire strategy and help a company stay in track.
To start with, we need to differentiate between a mission and a vision:
A Mission Statement is what a company is doing now; it can change by time to help prioritizing the goals of a company. It also drives the company towards the vision it strives for. Every employee should operate and work within the boundaries of the mission.
A Vision Statement is how the company imagines itself and works hard to become in the future. It can also reflect how the company imagines the world around it with its existence.
A small example would be a hotel that wants to become the best in the world. Its vision could be making everybody comfortable and feels like home. Its mission could be providing the best service there is, or having a top notch spa.
Missions and vision do not have to be complicated, they only have to be measurable. The greatest benefit for mission and vision statements are to 1) help you stay on track towards your actual goal, 2) measure how well you are doing, 3) help you shape your strategy and make the required amendments.
The one key to actually reaching your vision and mission is involving everyone in the organization. Every employee has to know why they are doing what they are doing, and where do this reflect in the company. It not only raises their sense of responsibility, but their sense of involvement and belonging.
Let’s take a look at some of the best mission and vision statements:
These 5 examples have one thing in common, they are all measurable and involve everyone in the company.
At Google, everybody is contributing to its success and to organizing and communicating the information it has.
At Patagonia, it is easy to measure whether their products cause harm or not, and how they contribute to the environment as a whole.
At Trip Advisor, every change made is to help travelers, whether modifying the reservation processes to be easier or encouraging people to share their experiences to help others.
At IKEA, shaping a strategy towards bettering the lives of “many” people involves a lot of discussions and planning, all the while being measurable as well.
At Disney, making people happy involves the technicians, engineers, workers, shops, even gate keepers.
Mission and Vision statements are measures that guide a company and remind teams why they go to work every day.