Mission statements define why a company exists and why it matters, including the problems they intend to solve with their product or service. They explain an organization's plan for the present depending on what they want to achieve. Vision statements state where an organization wants to be in the future, framed in an ambitious and forward-looking way. They must be creative, ambitious and have a logical connection to the mission.
This is not a road map (that's what your strategy is for), but the destination depending on your mission. Vision statements help organizations make strategic decisions, aligning effort with goals. Objective, advantage and scope are terms used less frequently than “mission” and “vision” statements, but they can add value when trying to articulate the uniqueness of an organization. As for time, both mission and vision are the first steps in defining your strategy.
You can develop them together or lead them with your mission statement. It's a common mistake to create a vision statement that's too lofty and spongy. If you start with the mission, you'll have a more realistic anchor point for your ideal future state. Below, we have summarized some examples of vision statements to provide inspiration.
But if you're ready to start crafting your own vision statement, check out our step-by-step process as a guide. We have summarized the vision statement, but you can see a clear link to the three principles described in the mission. Notice that the purpose of the mission is to show what an organization offers, while the vision shows what it aspires to. You can also see that the language does not come from a template, but that it is designed for an organization that is already proud of what it has achieved and that wants to emphasize its continuous focus on cooperation, efficiency and service to its citizens. At a time when organizations are facing a multitude of challenges, having a clear delimitation of their mission and vision can help guide their strategic priorities for the coming years.
The Toronto vision statement includes four perspectives, all of which most people would consider to be the basic principles of a “great city”, the descriptor used in the mission statement. The TCHD is the largest local health department in Colorado and has clearly spent time differentiating its mission from words such as “optimal” and “life expectancy” make it clear that TCHD's vision is broad and ambitious: the organization aspires to the best over decades. The mission then reiterates “a lifetime”, listing the focus of TCHD activities along with the results it wants to achieve. You can see how vision and mission align, and easily imagine how the mission statement could be translated into objectives in a strategic plan. This is one of the most interesting examples of mission statement versus vision statement, because it originates in a department of an organization and is more specific than the general vision and mission of the organization itself. In some cases, organizations use their own slightly different definitions of mission and vision, but these statements will always include the company's vision of a better future and a language around what differentiates it from the competition.
This is a fundamental first step in defining your strategy. Another way to talk about the concepts of mission and vision is through objective, advantage and scope. In the case of Houston, the vision is very brief, but the mention of self-sufficiency is unique. This last sentence suggests that the department is focusing its efforts on programs and services that encourage independence to achieve safe and healthy outcomes. The mission focuses on partnering with the community: deliberate wording that suggests cooperation and good will. Both are longer statements, but each one serves its different purpose without being repetitive.
The vision statement describes an ideal world of Kansas City and uses ambitious phrases such as “nationally known” and “transformative” while reflecting elements that stand out in its vision such as customer focus. The mission statement reflects how it will achieve its mission by focusing on data-based decisions and measurable progress. Mayo Clinic is internationally recognized for its quality of care which is reflected in its wording of these statements. The mission achieves a good balance between aspirational and practical with phrases such as “hope” and “the best care” based on its three operational approaches that will help it achieve its objectives. The vision manages to address both patient experience and reputation while remaining far-reaching and forward-thinking. Jude's mission statement is well-crafted for many reasons; it is action-oriented and includes mention of fundamental value based on founder's vision which is directly related to how hospital will achieve its mission. The vision is inspiring yet ambitious without promising anything it can't deliver but rather focusing on “progress versus eradication”; both statements use word “catastrophic” linking mission and vision clarifying organization's approach. Founded in part to help facilitate growth & development of Eastern Caribbean States purpose (mission) of ECCB is to promote financial capabilities of large group people which is very different from Toronto's or Houston's missions & visions.