The Difference Between a Mission & Vision Statement

mission statement vision statement

An organization describes its objective and goals through a mission and vision statement. At The DAVIS Companies we recently created a focus group program. There are five focus groups each meeting to improve a certain area of our business. This is a voluntary program and involves all of our offices across all different departments. What the teams have first been tasked with is to come up with their mission statements, vision statements and goals for Q1. Many asked the question, “What is the different between the mission statement and the vision statement?” In today’s blog I am going to break down the key differences between a vision and mission statement.

The mission statement concentrates on the present. It typically answers the question, “Why do we exist?” The mission statement defines the goals, ethics and/or culture. It can be so well defined that it feels like a strategy. Mission statements create clarity, and set direction for its employees.

Examples of Mission Statements:

  • Google’s mission statement is, “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  • Facebook’s mission statement is, “Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

A vision statement answers the questions, “Where do you want to be? Or, what does the future look like?” The way I assist the vision making process is for everyone to close their eyes and look past the present and envision the future of the team. What does it look like? Your vision statement usually describes a brighter future, instills hope and aligns with the organization’s values and culture. The vision statement, some would say, comes from the heart instead of the mind.

Examples of Vision Statements:

  • Special Olympics’ vision statement is, “To transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and thereby anyone who is perceived as different.”
  • Goodwill’s vision statement is, “Every person has the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.”

Remember what Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Take that into consideration when creating your mission and vision statement. Really think about your purpose as an organization, and why you, and your employees come to work. You are creating clarity and trust when building these statements. Make sure they are compelling, unique and trusting.

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