Writing Effective Visions and Mission Statements

The vision and mission statements are the inspiring words that concisely, yet clearly define the direction for the organization. They are the tool for powerfully communicating your intentions and motivating your employees to realize an inspiring common goal and objective in the future.

Penning down your vision and mission

Mission statements define the organization’s purpose and primary objectives or they may even refer to a problem. It is more internal, in the sense that it defines the key parameters to measure the organization’s success. The prime audience for the mission statement would be the leadership and the stakeholders of the organization. Vision statements while also defining the organization purpose, they focus more on organization values than the bottom line measures. Vision statements are not as concrete and action-oriented as mission statements. Having clear mission and vision statements helps convert the broad dreams of your vision into more specific, action-oriented terms, explain your goals to all the stakeholders in a clear and concise manner while also improving your image as being competent and professional. It provides focus, flow and foundation for taking decisions as well as a direction of thriving and not just surviving.

A mission statement articulates the purpose of the company, basically telling why it exists, what it does and for whom. It serves as an ongoing guide that spells out what the company is all about. It focuses on here and now. To create effective mission statements, first identify the organization’s ‘winning idea’, which is the USP of your organization which will set it apart from the rest. Then identify the basic and most important parameters that define your organization’s success. The three simple steps to write a good mission statement would be describe what your company does, describe how it is done and then add why it is done. Combine these two into a tangible and achievable smart goal. An ideal mission statement should be –

                          • Concise
                          • Outcome-oriented
                          • Inclusive

Examples of good mission statements –

  • An Internet Search Engine Company: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful
  • A Family Entertainment Company: We create happiness by providing the finest entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere
  • A Leading Shopping Portal: To build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online

Your vision is your dream. A vision statement outlines goals and aspirations for the future. It creates a mental picture of a specific medium-term target and serves as a source of inspiration. Once a mission statement is out clear, bring out the human value in the mission. Identify what all the stakeholders of your organization will value the most about how the organization achieves the mission. Polish the words to create a vision statement that inspire, energize and motivate your employees. It might take several vision statements to fully capture the dreams of all those involved, it may never be just one ‘perfect’ phrase. An ideal vision statement should be –

                  • Understood and shared by all the stakeholders
                  • Broad enough to include a diverse variety of local perspectives
                  • Inspiring and uplifting to everyone involved in the effort
                  • Easy to communicate

Avoid using phrases like ‘most successful’, ‘world’s best’, ‘market-leading’, ‘best-in-class’, ‘best customer value’ , etc. They mean nothing and put people off; in fact they are big time blunders a lot of companies make.

Examples of good vision statements –

  • A Computer Giant: A computer on every desk and in every home
  • An NGO for Children Welfare: Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.

Developing effective vision and mission statements is one of the most important tasks your organization ever does because everything else you do will be affected by these statements. A good mission and vision statement would help strengthen the foundation of the organization while also defines the future.

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