Organizations that have vision and mission statements are always above the rest in terms of the quality of their performance as well as their profit margins. Although there is no clear difference between a mission and a vision, the two serve different, yet core purposes as elements of strategic planning. It is fundamental to formulate a plan that is based on well-written vision and mission statements. Then, what is a mission statement and how does it differ from a vision statement? According to Evans (2016), a vision is a mental picture of what an organization intends to achieve over a certain period. The purpose of a vision statement is to provide guidance and inspiration to the stakeholders of an organization. Although the leadership of an organization may change, the vision statement is the same and provides continuity to the organization. A mission statement, on the other hand, provides a definition of the current state of an organization, what it stands for, and its purpose (Evans, 2016). Specifically, a mission statement seeks to provide the information on what an organization does, whom it does for, and how it does what it does. Unlike a vision statement, a mission statement is more succinct and contains a shorter timeframe (Diffen.com, 2016).
In the University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall, the mission statement is to benefit society by the advancement of knowledge and understanding through excellence in education and research as a College of the University of Oxford. The vision statement of the same campus is Excellence in education and research. The process of creating these two statements was a bit complex. Specifically, students of the campus were invited to make proposals on the best mission statement. This was done after the campus was chartered. On the vision statement, all the representatives of the stakeholders of the campus were invited for a consultative meeting on the vision statements of the institution. From that meeting, which occurred in 2010, several vision statements were formulated, which were to be observed for a period of 5 years (2010-2015). From their policy manuals, the campus has a very clear strategy on how it intended to achieve its short-term and long-term goals while at the same time maintaining its core values of excellence, equity, fairness, openness, and knowledge through educational research.
To keep stakeholders focused on keeping the Mission and Vision alive, Lady Margaret Hall campus has set goals and objectives that are supposed to be observed by every stakeholder. In this regard, an evaluation is made after every four months to assess how each department has performed towards the achievement of the set goals and objectives. Additionally, at the end of each year, all stakeholders have a meeting where they evaluate how close they are to achieving their vision and whether they are maintaining the core values of the campus. In this meeting, those found to have failed to adhere to the set down core values are warned while those found to have negligently failed the organization are given their matching orders. These methods are very productive as they keep the campus very competitive in research and education. Additionally, it keep administrators alive to the fact that they can be relieved of their duties if they do not work in line with the mission statement for the purpose of achieving the organizations goals and objectives. Those who are found to have performed well are rewarded with a variety of goodies to motivate and inspire them to do even better.
Evans, J. (2016). Vision and Mission - What's the difference and why does it matter?. Psychology Today. Retrieved 23 January 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smartwork/201004/vision-and-mission-whats-the-difference-and-why-does-it-matter
Lmh.ox.ac.uk,. (2016). LMH, Oxford - Our mission and values. Retrieved 23 January 2016, from http://www.lmh.ox.ac.uk/About-LMH/Vision-strategy/Our-mission-and-values.aspx
Diffen.com,. (2016). Mission Statement vs Vision Statement - Difference and Comparison | Diffen. Retrieved 23 January 2016, from http://www.diffen.com/difference/Mission_Statement_vs_Vision_Statement
Lmh.ox.ac.uk,. (2016). LMH, Oxford - guidelines. Retrieved 23 January 2016, from http://www.lmh.ox.ac.uk/.../Undergraduate-College
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