Mission and vision are two terms that you have probably heard some times by now and that you’ll hear about more and more in the future if you plan to start or retune a business anytime soon. In this post, I review the definitions and share the mission and vision statements of organizations like Disney, Coca-Cola, or Creative Commons.
Mision and vision statements are sometimes hard to differentiate, and there is a lot of confusion around them; but here goes a hint: Your mission is what you are going to do on a recurring basis, and the consequence of that in the short term. The vision is more abstract, and refers to the impact your project aims to have in the world and why it’s important to work towards that ideal situation.
At Pizza our mission is “To become the number one produce store in Main Street by selling the highest quality, freshest farm produce, from farm to customer in under 24 hours on 75% of our range and with 98% customer satisfaction.”
Our vision is “We help the families of Main Town live happier and healthier lives by providing the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious local produce: From local farms to your table in under 24 hours.”
You don’t need to have a 100% polished and definitive business mission and vision at the very beginning of your business, but keeping them in mind will help you define your culture, have clearer goals, and be a better strategist. Mission and business statements are, together with the business plan or business model canvas, the inception deck and the core values, one of the documents that return more value when starting a business.
Mission and vision statements will change over time (hopefully as you achieve them and need to look for something else to improve!) but even vague, preliminar ones will give sense and direction to your project.
When writing your mission and vision statements you can choose between a goal oriented statement or an idealistic one. There is no right or wrong here, there’s just what defines you and your business better and gives you a very clear idea of where to turn to when you have a crossroad or need to make an important decision.
Mission and vision statements help both your customers and your team understanding where your focus is at. Be sure to put the word out about them! You can add them to your website, business plan, stationery, merchandising… Another way to promote them is to keep mentioning them when you talk with the press or investors.
I can help you define your mission and vision statements if you hire me; but if you’d rather go solo, here are a couple of well known companies’ mission and vision statement for some inspiration:
The Mission of the Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.
Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world
To make people happy
Our Roadmap starts with our mission, which is enduring. It declares our purpose as a company and serves as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions.
- To refresh the world…
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
- To create value and make a difference.
Our vision serves as the framework for our Roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth.
Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.
Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.
Our vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.
As a rule of thumb…
- Keep it simple and easy to understand
- Focus on the people your company or project will be beneficial for
- Avoid buzzwords
- Make it unique
- Clearly differentiate the mission and the vision statements