Difference between organization’s mission and vision

Both mission and vision go hand in hand and are important for an organization’s existence, strategic management and achievements. These two anchors unite the organization’s members, offer a system of meanings and  lead the actions. In this article let’s look at what creates mission and vision and how they differ.

Vision – colourful image

Organization’s vision is like a visual image of what the organization is going to become in the future, mentioning their place in the market field. In result the vision is a purpose the organization will be working toward.

The vision statement is narrowed by the organization’s present core competencies, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, opportunities, values to create a realistic vision.

A greatly formulated vision gives focus and strength to an organization’s culture and also is like an inspiration source for each employee and manager. According to Shannon Bowen, vision drives employees’ commitment, motivation and a cohesive sense of purpose, organization’s effectiveness and success.

Organization’s vision can be introduced and kept active, known, and alive through the organization’s culture.

Mission – prime functions

Organization’s mission focuses on it’s purpose and reason for existence right now. Mission also describes the basic services and critical processes the organization provides in a lofty and ambitious way.

Mission statement often is specified in these certain goals

1) target markets

2) principal products/services

3) geographic domain

4) technological advantage

5) economic goals

6) philosophy

7) identity

8) reputation

9) employee concern

Furthermore, the mission creates standards for performance, defines the company’s  primary customers and promotes sharing of the values. Mission statements are communicated to employees, customers and other stakeholders, clarifying the company’s purpose.

73% of employees who say they work in a  purpose driven company are engaged, found in Deloitte’s study.

Sharp examples from large and well known companies

Let’s look at well known organizations mission and vision statements, how precisely they are created.

Google: Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Mission of Samsung: Samsung follows a simple business philosophy: to devote its talent and technology to creating superior products and services that contribute to a better global society.

Tesla: Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Vision of Philips: At Philips, we are striving to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, with the goal of improving the lives of 2.5 billion people a year by 2030.

Vision of Starbucks: To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.

The difference between mission and vision

In summary the main difference is the time frame. When the mission is all about “now” by identifying “who they are” and “what they do”, the vision is about the desired and ideal future by identifying “where they want to be in x years” and “what products / services they will offer”.

Jen Croneberger, Forbes Councils Member, gives a great and short explanation: In the “Be, do, have” of company culture, vision is the “be”, mission is the “do” process.

Although there is a difference, both mission and vision are very important in decision making and in the way to achieving goals.

“If organizations want to maximize productivity and ensure that they are doing the“right” work, they must provide organizational members with a clear understanding of who they are, where they are going, and how they are going to get there”

-Thomas A. Falsey

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