Every organisation has its mission and vision statements. These statements serve different purposes in every organisation because they provide guidance and definition in regards to the manner in which businesses and operations are carried out in the particular organisations. Thus they are all important in as far as organisational management and growth is concerned. However, it is also fundamental to understand that there is a difference between these two statements.
Vision only describes the future ambition that revolves around the organisation. It is about the futuristic aspects of the organisation or where the organisation wants to be and the manner in which it pictures itself in the long term.
On the other hand, mission talks about the path that the organisation will have to take in ensuring that the vision it has stated is realised. Mission primarily provides answers to the question of “why do we exist?’ It is a statement that describes the core function of the organisation.
One important thing that you need to know is that mission needs to be written in short manner and a concise statement. By this, it means that it should be in a position of passing the T-shirt test, which means that it should be able to be printed on a T-shirt but at the same time remain readable. That is one of the differences between vision and mission.
Whereas mission needs to be a concise but compelling statement, vision needs to be relatively longer than a mission. It should be informed of a description in written in a paragraph or a page depending on the content. Vision should at every time communicate or portray the future of the organisation in regards to its operations.
The other difference is that vision incorporates the entire organisation. What it means is that vision talks about every aspect of the organisation ranging from the personnel, shareholders, partners, management and community among others. It is very different from the mission which mostly focuses on individual elements like employees, and more importantly ways that can be used in making sure that the organisations become a better place for the customers.
When coming up with a vision statement, it would be important to ensure that the statement answers this particular query: if the organisation was to exist for the next ten years, what would it look like if it achieved all its strategic objectives? An ideal vision statement should inspire and at the same time be an aspiration. It is also significant to ensure that the vision statement is described in such a manner that it challenges the personnel of the organisation but at the same time inspire them.
On the other hand, the mission statement describes how and what the company, department or unit does and its general intention. It should be noted that the mission plays the role of communicating purpose and direction to some individuals like employees, suppliers, vendors, customers and other relevant stakeholders. You should also note that the mission statement can be changed or modified to reflect the priorities of the company and approaches of accomplishing the vision.
However, vision statements should not necessarily be revised thus the need for ensuring that the organisations come up with one that is solid enough to weather all the happenings that may take place within the short or long term in the environment.
Lastly, the other difference between these two statements revolves around how they fit with strategic planning. When it comes to mission statement in this regard, it should be able to be reviewed at the start of every strategic planning process. It is the board to determine whether or not internal or external changes are necessary for revising in a mission statement.
On the other hand, vision statement can be drafted when strategic planning process is taking place if an organisation does not have one. It is the reason it is important for every stakeholder to be involved during strategic planning.
Example of Mission vs Vision
To better understand Mission vs Vision we have mentioned below the vision and mission of McDonalds.
McDonald’s vision is to be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
Be the best employer for our people in each community around the world
* Deliver operational excellence to our customers in each of our restaurants; and
* Achieve enduring profitable growth by expanding the brand and leveraging the strengths of the McDonald’s system through innovation and technology.
* Try to fulfill our customer, automatically our profit will improve.
As seen from above, the vision of Mcdonalds is to be the best quick service restaurant and to make their customers smile. This is a long term goal of the organization.
The mission on the other hand mentions the employers, the process as well as the brand and more importantly the way through which the organization is going to achieve its vision.
Thus, if vision is the final destination, the mission is the road which has to be traveled to reach the vision.