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Mission, Vision & Values

18 Oct 2010

Vision Mission ValuesThere always seems to be a lot of confusion over just how to define these three important components.  The main reason seems to be that the terms become blurred in day to day use.  For some people the term vision is just too soft and fluffy, for others the mission is about today’s objective rather like a military style short term view.  So in simple terms here is what they mean:

 

Mission = the purpose, the reason an organisation exists

Vision = a desired future state

Values = how an organisation behaves day-to-day

So, a hypothetical example

Mission – We provide high quality consulting services to our customers in the widget industry.

Vision – We set the example that other companies follow in the widget consulting industry.

Values – We operate with integrity.  We go the extra mile for our customers.  We take pride in our results.

The mission says why we exist, we provide consultancy services.  The vision sets a clear goal to be the best widget consultants, the organisation everyone else uses as a measurement standard for themselves.  The example values set a frame for how to go about providing the service and become an operating guide for employees.

If you add to this other terms such as goals, objectives, strategy and tactics you start to build a performance framework  that defines what needs to be done within specific time-periods to turn the vision into a reality.   The mission remains the same over time as goals and objectives are achieved.  The strategy and tactics are the detailed approach that is set out to enable the vision to be realised.

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