When taking a closer look at an organisation there are always two things that are central. First there is the mission and second there is the vision. These two words might be simple in meaning yet their uses have a profound effect on all activities of the organisation.
In general an organisation is a group of people with shared values and shared goals who together work on realising their stated goals. The shared values and shared goals are sometimes not easy to explain. Especially when organisational values and goals consist of multiple specific details, a simple way of presenting them is vital. Usually the bigger the organisation, the more complex its values and goals.
This is where the mission and vision come in. The mission is literally the reason for being and often expressed in a core activity that makes the organisation distinct and sometimes even unique. The vision is where the organisation sees itself in the future.
Mission: the reason for being, often expressed in a core activity.
Vision: where the organisation sees itself in the future.
When the organisation in question has formulated its mission and vision other aspects soon follow. These aspects explain how and why. The question “what are the organisation’s mission and vision?” has already been answered. Say the organisation, it can be every possible legal business entity is a local bakery.
Mission: to bake fresh bread.
Vision: to bake more fresh bread in the future.
Mission statement: to bake fresh bread for our customers every day.
Core strategy: to bake the best fresh bread every day we use the best natural ingredients and traditional methods.
Philip Kotler, the marketing guru summarised that an effective mission statement focuses on the organisation’s competencies, addresses its customers, is specific yet motivating in itself and avoids the financial objectives like profitability and continuity. All this preferably within one concise sentence.
When an organisation cannot communicate clearly and convincingly what its mission and vision are, the chances are that the wrong people are leading it. In daily life when someone comes up to you and wants something from you yet cannot say “Hi, I am …”, “I work as/make …” and “My goal is to …” it is very likely that you say “Sorry, I am not interested.”
Trust and reputation complement each other. The unconvincingly formulated mission and vision can break them…