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It is vital to differentiate between vision, mission, and values in the context of an business or a person. A vision represents a very long-term-oriented ''calling.'' A mission represents a short- to medium-term statement of Purpose. A mission, rigid over a relatively long period of time, becomes a vision. For example, as AT&T is achieving its mission with much enthusiasm and passion, it is moving closer toward its eventual vision of being a company ''universal'' in nature-in providing communications goods and services.
As an organization is first established, its mission may be as simple as ''provide software services to the local business community'' and its vision may just to be survive. The mission and vision are often informal and seldom written down. As organization succeed in their business environments, opportunities arise that allow the organization to grow in revenues and number of employees. And encourage it to expand into new product and market areas. As organizations take advantage of such opportunities, they are also increasing the scope of their business definitions by serving the needs of a much broader group of stakeholders. More formal written statements are useful at this point to guide internal decisions and help the organization meet the needs of its stakeholders. It used porperly, and organization's mission and vision should provide a screen for evaluating oppertunities and proposals and making decisions.
vision and mission are almost interchangeable term. A business mission is usually seen as dealing more with the presend and near future while a vision deals with the long term. A mission statemtn defines a farm's current business directions and goals and indicates what a farm is trying to do for itss customers. In contrast, a strategic vision is the picture of what the stake holders want the farm to look like in the future, say ten years or more into the future.
Many organizations have a top level mission statement which is used to scope the ambition of the company and to highlight the success factors for the business. Some examples vision statement from well-known e-businesses featured in the case studies in my Ebusiness and Ecommerce management book:
eBay mission statement eBay pioneers communities built on commerce, sustained by trust, and inspired by opportunity. eBay brings together millions of people every day on a local, national and international basis through an array of websites that focus on commerce, payments and communications
Facebook mission statement Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.
Vision statements can also be used to define a longer-term, 2 to 5 year picture of how the channel will support the organization through defining strategic priorities. The disadvantage with brief vision statements such as those shown above is that they can be generic, so it is best to develop a more detailed vision or make them as specific as possible by.
The problem with vision and mission statements that I most often see is they are just not memorable. Paragraphs long, full of comas and dependant clauses, making every attempt to get all of the stakeholders represented. Creating these monstrosities wasted innumerable hours of management's time; they confuse the staff and customers and add no value to the business.
The essence of a good vision and or mission statement is simplicity and clarity. It should provide every employee of the business (you too, boss) with a simple way to determine if what they are about to do is consistent with the goal. How many words does it take? Not many. Here are 27 words that changed history, "â€¦ this nation should commit itself to achieving a goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth." John F. Kennedy
Suppose you make security products, your mission could be reduced to "Save Lives". Everyone in the company can readily determine if what they are a doing fits the mission. They can remember it as well.
Your statement should be very much like the first paragraph grab of a good executive summary for your business plan. It is not about the speeds, feeds, and technology but about the problem and its solution. A website developer for example should be looking at the cost, value and ROI from the potential client perspective in their statement. Your client does not care how you do it, they just want to know the answer to; "â€¦what will my business gain from what I pay you?"