Mission And Vision Statements Commerce Essay


We hear the words vision and mission every day, but what do this words really mean and how are they different from each other. To understand this question we have to look at the larger purpose of defining these words and how to apply their meaning to ensure that everybody who comes into contact with the company knows the organization's overall purpose and its primary objectives. The prime function of the mission and vision internally is to define the key measure or measures of the organization's success and its prime audience is the leadership team and stockholders.

If we look at the Mission and Vision of a company in more detail we see that the mission is what an organization does, its action and we should think of the MISSION as managing with greatness and strength and improving everything on a daily basis.

The VISION however is leading with inspiration and courage, being obsessed with future possibilities and to be positive about change. It creates that momentum of growing anticipation about the future, where change is seen as a step closer to that ideal picture of what's coming next.

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In opposite where a mission is a company's action the vision is what an organization would like to see happen as a result of the action taken as specified in its mission and looks forward (5 - 10 Years from now).

The need for a Vision and Mission Statement

Company's starts as nothing but an idea in someone's mind and then turn into a physical reality. In order to get others actively working towards creating that physical reality, they must be able to see the vision; therefore, you must be able to see your own vision and know how to convey it. It is a desired future and can help to guide all stakeholders in the company who accept and understand it.

As a shared vision it can be a great tool for building a sense of belonging and community in the company. However, if it is not shared it could result in employees who don't believe in the company and wont give their best effort..

Vision Statements also define the organizations purpose in terms of how they belief things should be done.) It communicates both the purpose and values of the organization and gives direction to emplyees about how they are expected to behave and inspires them to give their best. Shared with customers, it shapes customers' understanding of why they should work with the organization.

The vision should describe the desired future of the company as clearly as possible in terms of things such as:


Shape, size and boundaries

Markets, industries and clients

Key partnerships and relationships

Products and services

People and work

Competitive advantage


Ates a picture of what leaders want the organisation to be in time and assist to align people and create a shared understanding for decision making.  This promotes awareness and understanding and will enhance the ability of people to make decisions appropriate to the achievement of the vision.  The goal should be to spread this understanding as widely as possible to create a shared understanding.

Building out the vision creates a clearer strategic framework and give guidance for strategic development decisions.  Leaders should constantly be translating the vision into strategic initiatives, tactical actions and operational priorities that make it easy for all the people in the organisation to perform their work in such a way that it drives the entire organisation to the point where the vision becomes reality.  Strategic priorities may then be identified and decisions may be made.   Tactical decisions can also be made according to the strategic framework, underpinned by the strategic priorities.  Operational priorities may then be aligned with the tactical decisions at the appropriate time.  At the same time, leaders doing strategic, tactical and operational work must be able to keep their eyes on the guiding star of the vision.

Not only does this approach align and focus leaders, it allows leaders at all levels to align and focus their people in pursuit of a consistent goal, with a clear understanding of why certain things are happening, what, when, where and how they are happening and what their own particular roles are.  This promotes focus, integration and co-ordination and creates an environment in which people can be empowered to take true ownership of their work.

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Next we take a look at the mission of a company. A Mission Statement defines the organization's purpose and primary objectives. Its prime function is internal - to define the key measure or measures of the organization's success - and its prime audience is the leadership team and stockholders. It should be well defined, so it can guide your business' planned actions.

It is important for any organization to spend time figuring out what their vision and mission are so that all parties involve understand what is expected of them. This insures that everyone is moving in the same direction. Taking the necessary time to assess these is critical because a company should be a body with many ---- parts, but only one mind.

In a way, a "mission" is also a motivational aspect of a vision: it defines "why the vision matter?" and implies a set of governing values or principles. Much of what motivates and inspires people to make meaning and take action is contained in this "why" aspect. It also defines why it all matters to employees, contractors, partners, and management -- the internal "customers.

As a mission reflects human motivation, hopefully it helps people feel good, maybe even to feel inspired, about it. It must be kept current and alive.

Strategic planning process: Steps involved

Strategic planning is the core function in any company. Without a strategic framework the company will never know where it is going or why they are going there. However, there are many different models and steps available for the strategic planning process of a company and depend on how the specific company wants to implement it. One approach is summarized below.

Agree on a strategic planning process. In this step all key role players should be present and should involved the following:

An understanding of what strategic planning is and how it is done;

Discuss its potential value to the company, in terms of providing a common vision and mission;

Consider the costs of doing strategic planning, and what might need to be given up in order to develop a plan;

Consider whether it will be a long-range plan or whether it may best focus on a short-term plan;

Agree upon a process and establish responsibilities for the various steps in the process

Set up a strategic planning committee and choose

Carry out an environmental scan. This helps provide an understanding of how the organization relates to its external environment. The scan usually includes an external component -- identifying and assessing opportunities and threats in the external environment -- and an internal component -- assessing organizational strengths and weaknesses. This process is often referred to as "SWOT": strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Identify key issues, questions, and choices to be addressed as part of the strategic planning effort. This may mean specifying "strategic issues" or questions that the organization should address, and setting priorities in terms of time or importance.

Define or review the organization's values, community vision, and mission. Be sure there is consensus on why the organization exists, what goals or outcomes it seeks to achieve what it stands for, and whom it serves.

5. Develop a shared vision for the organization. In some strategic planning efforts, a vision for the organization is developed after a vision for the community has been.

6. Develop a series of goals or organizational status statements which describe the organization in a specified number of years - assuming it is successful in addressing its mission. It is usually a short step from the vision to goals - sometimes the statements describing the vision are essentially goal statements. It is extremely valuable to transform the vision into a series of key goals for the organization, preferably in the form of status statements describing the organization.

7. Agree upon key strategies to reach the goals and address key issues identified through the environmental scan. The major emphasis should be on broad strategies, including current and new program, advocacy, collaborative, or other approaches. These strategies should be related to specific goals or address several goals.

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8. Develop an action plan that addresses goals and specifies objectives and work plans on an annual basis. Once the longer-term elements of a strategic plan have been developed, it is time to ensure a specific work plan to begin implementation.

9. Finalize a written strategic plan that summarizes the results and decisions of the strategic planning process. There is no set format, but be sure to include the outputs of each major step.

10. Build in procedures for monitoring, and for modifying strategies based on changes in the external environment or the organization. Be sure progress towards goals and objectives and use of strategies is monitored regularly, with strategies revised and annual objectives developed yearly, based on the progress made, obstacles encountered, and the changing environment.


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[Accesed 26 January 2010]

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[Accesed 26 January 2010]

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[Accesed 26 January 2010]

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[Accesed 26 January 2010]

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[Accesed 26 January 2010]

Emily Gantz McKay. Based on materials originally prepared for use with SHATIL, the technical assistance project of the New Israel Fund. Modified for the National Council of La Raza, and further modified for MOSAICA, May 1994 and July 2001. Strategic planning: a Ten-Step Guide [Online]

Available from: <http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTAFRREGTOPTEIA/Resources/mosaica_10_steps.pdf >

[Accesed 26 January 2010]

Janet Shapiro Strategic Planning Toolkit [Online]

Available from: <http://www.civicus.org/new/media/Monitoring%20and%20Evaluation.pdf >

[Accesed 26 January 2010]