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What is the difference between a vision and mission statement? 

For the last few months, our blog posts have focused on how you can improve leadership skills. We now turn our attention to vision and mission statements as part of a series on developing a team vision. At PANDEK Group, this is one of our specialisms, so hopefully by the end you can differentiate between the two.  

SO WHAT ARE THEY?

Well, firstly it is important to note that whilst they overlap, there are key differences between a vision and mission statement. The main difference concerns the varying timelines, as a vision statement is the aspirations of an organisation. In other words, it represents the ‘why’ of an organisation and should be a long-term, forward-thinking and carefully conceived goal that encapsulates what the organisation hopes to achieve. Usually, a vision statement is set five to ten years into the future, sometimes even more. All progress is set against this vision, with measurable trackers of success established for stakeholders’ benefit and as a source of motivation to drive employee engagement.   

Both types of statements can provide much-needed clarity to an organisation.

In contrast, a mission statement focuses on the how, establishing what actionable points the organisation must implement to achieve the team vision. To put it simply, the mission is a business strategy that should answer the following questions:  

  • What does the organisation do?  
  • For who does the organisation do it?  
  • How does the organisation do what it does?  
  • Is there an unspoken agreement within this organisation?  
  • Is there anything the organisation would take a stance against?  

As you can see, the difference between a vision and mission statement is that the mission will help you to achieve the vision. Whereas a vision statement sets out what you want to achieve, the mission statement cements how your organisation will do this.  

WHY YOUR ORGANISATION SHOULD HAVE BOTH A VISION STATEMENT AND A MISSION STATEMENT 

Succinct, integrated and well-communicated vision and mission statements will be the drivers of success. Together these written statements are the benchmark against which the organisation can set its culture, policies and objectives. Although there is no requirement for your organisation to have them, we recommend that you make time to establish both. Doing so will act as tools for employee engagement, which will simultaneously improve your chances of outperforming your competitors.    

NEXT TIME 

In our next article, we will be discussing the power of vision and mission statements. In it, we will explain why you should sit down and put time into creating these infrastructures for your organisation.    

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