Mission and vision statements

A lot of buzzwords get thrown around in business today. Some of them are productive, some of them are trendy, and some are confusing. A great example of this is when companies talk about their vision, mission, and strategy. Let’s take a look at each of the three: what they are, how they are different and probably most importantly, how they all fit together.

Company Vision

It tells us the company’s purpose by focusing on the future and what the organization exists to achieve. The vision statement is the company’s desired future position for the business. Some industry examples are:

  • Amazon – “To be the world’s most customer-centric company”
  • IKEA – “To create a better everyday life for the many people”
  • Apple – “To challenge the status quo. To think differently”

What’s clear from these vision statements is the company’s intention, aspirations, and reason for existing, in other words the WHY. In Simon Sinek’s acclaimed book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, he shows that leaders of organisations, big and small, all started with the WHY. They realised that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.

‘Why bother with a vision? We’re doing just fine without one’.

For the business owner, MD or CEO it’s the vision statement that provides the destination for the journey, and without a destination, how can you plan the route? At Pro-development, we have been working with employee engagement and supporting business for nearly 10 years. Our experience shows that a compelling vision statement can be a powerful tool to help your employees feel engaged. It gives them a goal that everyone can work together to achieve and help them see how their own work makes a difference.

Tips for writing your Vision Statement

  • They should be short – ideally two sentences so that it is punchy and memorable.
  • Make them specific to your company and describe a unique outcome that only you can provide.
  • Keep it simple enough for people both inside and outside your company to understand.
  • It should be ambitious enough to be exciting but not too ambitious that it seems unachievable.
  • It needs to be in line with the company values that you want your people to demonstrate at work.

Company Mission

The Mission Statement is how the company works toward the vision. Sinek’s “Start with Why” describes what is called the ‘Golden Circle’.  Imagine a dartboard where the bull’s eye represents the ‘WHY’. The next circle, as on a dartboard, represents the HOW. At IKEA this how or mission statement defines the process they take to reach the vision. For example, the vision (the WHY) is “To create a better everyday life for the many people.” Their mission statement (the HOW) is ‘to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them’.

You will see that the mission is more specific and relates directly to the company’s products and services. It is a long-term aspiration, but not so lasting as its vision. Even though the company’s vision remains unaffected by environmental changes, the mission statement could change overnight, or it could also serve a company for many years and slowly evolve

In the early 1980s, at Apple, Steve Jobs made that overnight turn. With the vision to empower every individual to challenge the status quo through the use of the personal computer, Apple pivoted. They abandoned their new version of the Apple computer and invested in the new “graphical user interface technology”. The rest is history.

Tips for writing your Mission Statement

  • Describe the company goals making sure they are aligned to the vision
  • Include measurable outcomes
  • Like the vision, it should also be short and punchy and aligned to the company values
  • Keep it simple
  • Don’t make it too limiting
  • You should write a mission statement if you want to add clarity to your company goals and you want to get your employees, investors, and customers to understand what your organisation is all about.

Strategy

Creating a company strategy is the final step in this process. Defining the vision and mission are critical before starting on strategic elements. After all, what is the strategy trying to achieve if not the company mission? And what is the mission if not the essential parts of the vision?

The strategy should include short- and long-term goals and should explain how those goals will be achieved. It is focused on present actions and outcomes needed to move closer to achieving the mission. Company strategies evolve and are updated over time to adjust for current factors such as local economic conditions and company needs.

Writing Strategic Objectives is probably the most fun and exciting part of creating your strategic plan and breathing life into your vision

Tips for writing your Company Strategic Objectives

  • Don’t be afraid to write many different versions
  • Involve your employees as early as possible.
  • Don’t sit in a room and try to do things yourself.
  • Revisit frequently and communicate results to employees
  • Discuss the objectives during staff reviews and one-to-ones

Are you thinking about how to get started with pulling together your vision and mission to help support your strategy?

Allow yourself to pause and think big!

Okay, take a deep breath, root yourself and feel the connection to the earth, feel the earths energy on the bottom of your feet and breathe in and exhale.

When you think of life purpose what comes to your mind? Just allow your thoughts to come and notice them.

  • Do you reflect on what you learned last year?
  • Do you think about what you have done in your life?
  • What do you want to do next?
  • What’s your personal vision or mission?
  • What do you want to achieve in 2022?

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life we often forget to think about the things that are really important to us. Maybe you haven’t spent enough time thinking about what you really want from life and haven’t set yourself goals.

Open your mind to the possible, dream big about what you want to achieve, the life you want to lead and the difference you want to make or your impact. Dream big because you might surprise yourself and because until you do, you will have no idea what you are capable of.

Picture yourself hearing the best news you could ever hear about your achievements in your life and career. Now imagine falling just short of that. Still good, right? As Les Brown said, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.’

Go big because you unlock the opportunities that come from scale, because small is easy and boring and it’s much better to say, ‘I can’t believe I did that’ than ‘I wish I’d done that’.

People say, ‘Where there is a will there is a way’, maybe it’s about perspective? For anyone looking to reduce their spending there is always someone else looking to invest and spend their budget. For every person looking for experience there’s another looking for an injection of fresh thoughts and perspective. Other people are out there accessing their possibilities why shouldn’t you access your opportunities. It’s a positive mindset that’s needed with the courage to pursue our dreams.

Write down your goals and what you want to achieve, you have the passion, strength, and capability to reach for the stars and to change the world. Think about the experience, skills, self-belief, network, and ability that you have to achieve those things. You only have one life and it’s now!

From Erin Hanson, ‘There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, “What if I fall?” Oh, but my darling, “What if you fly?”

Here’s a Vision Board activity to help you with your big dreams:-

Vision Boards

I believe there are no rules, only what works for you. Here’s our process tips:

  1. Find a piece of card or a big piece of paper or you could create an online document.

2. Mind map or create a structure for your vision board.

3. Find images and words from recycled magazines/brochures to create your vision board, you could also look               things up online.

4. Sort and arrange the images and words. Give this time if you have gaps, it might be that you revisit over time.

5. Glue down your images and add sketches or doodles.

6. Make sure you display and have this out, so you see it every day, keeping it at the forefront of your mind and              manifest those goals.

“In order to carry out positive action, we must develop a positive vision”


Dalai Lama

 

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice, contact our experts* Michelle and Lee at Pro-Development:

Pro-Development

 

01904 628838    https://www.pro-development.co.uk/

 

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.