I got a text from a friend a few days ago in which he asked me for the difference between mission statement and vision statement. These are two terms usually used interchangeably. I must admit that I did not know the difference so I did a quick Google search. The result was interesting and it got me thinking about the importance of these statements.
My research revealed that a mission statement focuses on the present state of an organisation while a vision statement focuses on the organisation’s future. This sounds so simple in hindsight.
A lot of organisations have their mission statements and/or vision statements on their websites but struggle to have them imprinted on their employees’ hearts and minds. Do you know your employer’s mission and/or vision statement? I must admit that I had to do some digging around my employer’s website to find these statements, as a result of writing this post. They were not well highlighted on the website. I eventually found them courtesy of the institution’s internal search engine and CTL + F. I do like the fact that both statements are clear and concise with focus on the key stakeholders – staff, students and employers.
The University’s vision is “To be an inspiring, innovative University of international renown” and its mission is to “ To deliver an accessible and inspirational learning experience, to undertake pioneering research and professional practice, and to engage fully with employers and the community ”
Vision and mission statements can only ever be successful if there is organisational buy-in from everyone, otherwise, they are just empty words on a website or a document.
Though mission statements and vision statements are associated with organisations, I would argue that individuals also need to have them. This is because personal mission and vision statements are important for individual goal setting and planning. They both enable you to focus on your priorities as well as accomplish them.
Why don’t all people have them? I believe because these statements demand the investment of time and effort in terms of in-depth thinking and reflecting to craft them and the discipline to apply them. Do you have a personal mission and/or vision statement? I would love to hear how you crafted them and use them.