Vision & Mission: are they stated well?
I wonder when this has gone broken: Way too many companies have such a wrong Vision-statement, it is maybe because of it that people get confused and growth stalls?
Let analyse it:
“We aim to satisfy our customers with the quality of our products and services and, through innovation, build their loyalty, positioning ourselves as a leading company in the industry.”
“We strive to become leaders in our field through innovation and the quality of our products, outperforming competitors to understand and meet the needs of our customers.”
Now it’s your turn: try to locate the vision in the IBM strategy statements above.
If you are stuck unsure, you have just spotted the problem!
Let’s try this:
“Luz Saúde … is to be a leading healthcare provider recognised as a reference of excellence and innovation in highly specialised and complex medical care.”
“Achieve the best health outcomes from the perspective of patients through rapid and effective diagnosis and treatment, with absolute respect for the patients individuality, and to build an organisation capable of attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people.”
This private hospital mentions the Vision (otherwise you could be confused). You may just substitute the … with “Vision”
As you can see those statements are way too similar, hence the questions:
- What is the difference between Vision and Mission?
- Are they identical, just formed by different words?
- If the Mission is what the organisation wants to do, what offers, is it the same for the mission?
Let’s start from the simpler mission statement.
What the MISSION statement is?
A company can set its purpose: the role it wants to pursue as an economic body in the society where it abides.
A Mission is quite plain then: what the organisation does.
“Our purpose and mission is to make life a little easier for our guests by being where they need us, whenever they need us.”
“Spread ideas, foster community and create impact.”
If so, the role of the vision statement should be different, isn’t it?
Maybe to clarify it we should inquire over the purpose to define Vision and Mission: they compose the strategic framework that gives guidance to actions and decisions.
Then what’s VISION?
Vision has to be different by Mission, but how?
Simple, we must envision the environment around us, where we are immersed and we exist as players.
The environment enables the mission.
A correct mission only makes sense when it is properly related to an environment and its dynamics.
“Horses will disappear from the streets”
It wasn’t something Henry Ford could influence, but it was something he could imagine. Horse carriages would be succeeded by motorised carriages.
Bill Gates had a similar vision:
“A computer on every desk”.
If we analyse NOKIA vision it has been changed:
The environment changes, the mission may be not creating value anymore under a different environment.
What if Nokia wouldn’t embrace the big shift in the competitive environment?
You may believe that Nokia actually has been pushed out of the mobile consumers market, but in fact it is still consistently one of the strongest vendors in system and devices to build mobile networks.
Way too many brands don’t adhere to the vision logic.
SDA Bocconi doesn’t have a proper vision:
“Contribute to the development of people and organisations by generating and disseminating innovative knowledge in management.”
As we should clearly see it now: this can be a mission statement instead.
“To be an evolved Service Provider capable of providing communication services associated with processing digital information and content, compatible with the environment and the community.”
See it: To be … capable of providing… it is still presenting what the company proposes.
The vision should explain a projection of a future scenario from which the company embraces the value and spirit. The vision then justifies the mission as a guide to set the value proposition for the highest benefits in that envisioned environment.
The Vision should encompass a part of ideas (Core Ideology) and a part of the envisioned future, as a clear evaluation of the context in which we all will be in the future, it highlights the opportunities the future encompasses.
Let’s close this article with one of the best vision ever stated, Enrico Mattei an Italian dreamer and doer who was second do none in his capability to clarify the environment where he was operating declared this and it clearly defines why imagine how the future environment will be, is paramount.
“The future belongs to those who can imagine it.”