The Mission And Vision Statements Commerce Essay

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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 company's overall purpose and its primary objectives.

If we look at the Mission and Vision of a company in more detail we see that the mission is what a company does (its actions), 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.

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

The need for a Vision and Mission Statement

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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 won't give their best effort.

Vision Statements also define the company's purpose in terms of how they belief things should be done.) It communicates both the purpose and values of the company and gives direction to employees 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 company.

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

Demographics

Shape, size and boundaries

Markets, industries and clients

Key partnerships and relationships

Products and services

People and work

Competitive advantage

Values

It is also a picture of what leaders want the company to be in time and assist to align people into a common direction and create a shared understanding for decision making.  This promotes awareness and understanding and will enhance the ability of people to make decisions to achieve the company's vision. 

Building out the vision creates a clearer strategic framework and give guidance for the strategic planning process of the company.  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 company to perform their work in such a way that it drives the entire company to the point where the vision becomes a reality.  Strategic priorities may then be identified and decisions may be made.  

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.

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

It is important for any company 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.

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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 it depends on how the specific company wants to implement it. One approach which includes the core steps 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;

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

Carry out an environmental scan. This helps provide an understanding of how the company relates to its environment. The scan usually includes an:

external component -- identifying and assessing opportunities and threats in the external environment; and an

Internal component -- assessing the company's strengths and weaknesses. This process is often referred to as a "SWOT" analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)

Identify the 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 company should address and to priorities them.

Define or review the company's values, community vision, and mission. In this step everybody should agree on why the company exists, what goals or outcomes it seeks to achieve, what it stands for, and whom it serves.

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

Develop a series of goals which describe the company in a specified number of years - assuming it is successful in addressing its mission. It is extremely valuable to transform the vision into a series of key goals for the company, preferably in the form of statements describing the company.

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 or other approaches. These strategies should be related to specific goals or address several goals.

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 proceed with a specific work plan to begin implementation.

Finalize a written strategic plan that summarizes the results and decisions of the strategic planning process. Here we should include the outputs of each major step.

Build in procedures for monitoring, and for modifying strategies based on changes in the external environment or the company. Here we have to make sure that the progress towards goals and objectives is monitored regularly, with strategies revised and annual objectives developed yearly, based on the progress made, obstacles encountered, and the changing environment.

Resources

Grant Freedman (2009) Leveraging the organizations vision to align leaders and unlock the organizations potential [Online]

Available from: <http://www.psychologyafrica.com/2009/04/leveraging-the-organisations-vision-to-align-leaders-and-unlock-the-organisations-potential/> [Accessed 26 January 2010]

Elizabeth W. Gordon Vision Mission Purpose What Does It All Mean [Online] Available from: <http://ezinearticles.com/?Vision-Mission-Purpose-What-Does-It-All-Mean?&id=453155 >

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[Accessed 26 January 2010]

Carol Humphries (2005) Vision and Mission: Seven Suggestions Why You Need Both [Online]

Available from: < http://www.axi.ca/tca/Jan2005/associatearticle_1.shtml >

[Accessed 26 January 2010]

The Business Improvement Package What should the vision address [Online]

Available from: < http://www.bip.rcoe.gov.uk/rce/core/page.do?pageId=37734 >

[Accessed 26 January 2010]

Daniel Robin Vision, Mission and Values: Management Tools for Building a Better Workplace [Online]

Available from: < http://www.abetterworkplace.com/027.html >

[Accessed 26 January 2010]

Carol Humphries Vision and Mission: Seven Suggestions Why You Need Both [Online]

Available from: < http://openpolitics.ca/vision+versus+mission >

[Accessed 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 >

[Accessed 26 January 2010]

Janet Shapiro Strategic Planning Toolkit [Online]

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

[Accessed 26 January 2010]