Since the “Whatcha Do?” Blog entry, I’ve fielded a number of questions about the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement. Some clients have asked if their company’s Vision Statement is an “Internal Document, meant to guide and inspire stake holders or a “public statement” that should be included on their website or other marketing literature.
A Vision statement summarizes WHAT the stakeholders of an enterprise intend it to be — its ideal identity.
This future-focused Vision statement is crafted as a source of inspiration, describes what winning looks like, by identifying targeted milestones and accomplishments, and provides clear decision-making criteria to get there. A well-crafted Vision statement is SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound — and can motivate stakeholders to realize these defined objectives.
An effective Vision statement is specific not ambiguous.
It precisely states achievable aspirations that are in alignment with organizational values and culture. It is engaging, memorable and can be assimilated into the enterprise’s daily practice. The Vision statement embodies a desired expectation that the organizational leaders have the responsibility of communicating through their daily actions, short-term objectives and corporate decision processes.
To embed these aspirations within the organizational structure, individual stakeholders are usually encouraged to craft their own personal vision that is compatible with the enterprise’s overall vision. That practice is one way to make sure everyone is on the same page, understands and accepts the direction the leaders have set for the organization and are ready and willing to contribute what they can to achieve the stated goals. Vision statements that are reflected and acted upon at every level of an organization have a direct and positive impact on the bottom line and success of the organization.
A well-crafted Mission statement isn’t bound by a time frame — it can remain unchanged for decades — it defines the purpose for the organization’s existence and provides a path to realize the Vision in line with its values.
In an environment of organizational initiative or transformation, it is essential to acknowledge the existing conditions — resources and obstacles — the mission, and to identify where you want to go —the vision, and what you will need to do to get there.
I think publishing your organizational Mission Statement is helpful to the stakeholders and enlightening to your customers.
In the book, “Attracting Perfect Customers: The POWER of STRATEGIC SYNCHRONICITY,” authors Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez describe how Gary Young, President and CEO of Avela Corporation uses his Mission Statement as as a strategic alignment tool. “I find it helpful to develop a mission-specific statement as it pertains to a few high-profile clients and let them know I am developing the future as it pertains to them. My mission for my clients is to grpw in ways that serve them and us. One of the first things I ask to know about a potenial client is their mission statement to ensure that it is in alignment with mine.”(1)
The following is the Mission Statement of one of our “Serial Entrepreneurs.” It appears on his website. Mr. Andrews has been a Pleiades’ client for over 20-years.
“The Bob Andrews Group, LLC (BAG) is a holding company for the business interests and real estate holdings of Bob Andrews. Additionally, BAG provides high-level corporate support to those business interests, on a cost-shared basis, in the areas of strategy, finance, human resource management, risk management, corporate communications, and marketing. Most importantly, Bob Andrews uses BAG to serve as an incubator for his myriad entrepreneurial ideas, allowing them to be tested for viability before being spun off as separate companies. The Bob Andrews Group, LLC is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.”
Do you have an insight or opinion concerning Mission and Vision Statements. Please share it with us in the comment section.
(1) , ‘Attracting Perfect Customers: The POWER of STRATEGIC SYNCHRONICITY” page 33