I have recently written an article on Vision statement and why you need it. A second article has been written on Vision vs Mission. But in this article I would like to compare vision statement vs mission statement.
A Vision statement is written by an organization to showcase its dreams and where it wants to be in the long run. A vision statement will be of 2-3 lines and it will generally outline the following
1) What the company does
2) A customer driven approach where the company outlines the values and benefits which the company believes in and provides to its customers.
The above is the skeleton of a vision statement. Take a vision statement of any brand in the world and you will find the above two points forming the base of the vision statement.
Example – Amazons vision statement is “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online”
A mission statement on the other hand is derived from the vision statement. It is just like cause and effect. The vision statement is the cause whereas the mission statement is the effect. To achieve the vision, you need to have a mission.
A mission statement can have the following traits
1) Long term action plan – how the company plans to achieve its vision. For example – by providing cutting edge technology products
2) Focus of the company – Where is the company focusing on? Several companies mention employees, shareholders as well as customers. Some other companies may mention profit goals or operational excellence.
The above two points will in essence form a mission statement.
A mission statement can be the same as the vision statement. In the above Amazon example, Amazon claims that its vision and mission statement are the same. Amazon also says that their customers form the base of their company and hence their mission too is to be customer centric company.
Not every company is as smart as Amazon. And hence most companies have a vision statement which is generalist in nature and promotes a value or a product the brand stands for. The mission statement on the other hand states how the company will achieve its visionary goal.