You may or may not have heard about Mission and Vision statements on your business journey and the general consensus is that as a business, you should have a clear Mission and Vision statement.
So, what are they and why do we need them?
Mission statements should be short, clear and powerful. With a well-defined mission statement, the organization can focus on its primary objectives as they are set in present tense, which is both for members of the business and people outside it to know why you exist.
Some great examples of Mission statements:
TESLA: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
TED: “Spread ideas”
LINKEDIN: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
Vision statements serve a different purpose in that they are inspiring and focus on the change you want to see in the world. Your mission statement may change over time but it’s likely that your vision statement will remain the same, even if your business changes its strategy or offering.
Ask yourself – Do you have a vision for your company? What do you want to solve or what will success look like in the future? How many employees does it take to make this happen and how large of a customer base would be needed? Does your mission align with your vision and is there legacy you want to leave behind?
Some great examples of Vision statements:
LINKEDIN: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
MICROSOFT: (when founded): “A computer on every desk and in every home.”
DISNEY: “To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
Not only do these statements indicate to your clients or customers who you are and what you stand for, they enable your team to better understand what the focus and goals are behind the work that they do.
These statements can be highly effective when they are clearly and passionately expressed, communicated to everyone in the organization, and tied back into your company’s focus. When people hear these messages from you or others throughout the business it encourages them on their own individual journey as well.
Forbes would argue that ‘when clients asked me to help them formulate a mission and vision. My standard response to this question is to ask why. Mostly, the answer is that they want more focus, coherence and direction. When asking further, it often turns out that not a mission or a vision, but a clearer understanding of how to align their products and services with their capabilities and with their markets the actual problem—and the solution.’
Therefore, you may not need to go through this process at all.
That being said, going through the process allows for a better clarity and understanding of where your business is, what your focus is, what solutions you provide and to what problems, as well as your core values as a person and the culture you want to cultivate and nurture within your company environment.
Writing your Mission statement
According to the wisdom of Wikipedia your 3 essential components are:
- Key market: the target audience
- Contribution: the product or service
- Distinction: what makes the product unique or why the audience should buy it over another
And according to Forbes you must ask and answer the below:
- “What do we do?” — The mission statement should clearly outline the main purpose of the organization, and what they do.
- “How do we do it?” — It should also mention how one plans on achieving the mission statement.
- “Whom do we do it for?” — The audience of the mission statement should be clearly stated within the mission statement.
- “What value are we bringing?” — The benefits and values of the mission statement should be clearly outlined.
Writing your Vision statement
According to the wisdom of Wikipedia, the below should be taken into consideration:
- concise: able to be easily remembered and repeated
- clear: defines a prime goal
- Time horizon: defines a time horizon
- future-oriented: describes where the company is going rather than the current state
- stable: offers a long-term perspective and is unlikely to be impacted by market or technology changes
- challenging: not something that can be easily met and discarded
- abstract: general enough to encompass all of the organization’s interests and strategic direction
- inspiring: motivates employees and is something that employees view as desirable
And so, we invite you to consider doing this for your business, if you haven’t already, and see what you come up with.
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