Organization's Mission, Vision, and Values
An organization's statement of vision refers to a statement made by an organization in the spirit of overarching aspirations of what it hopes to achieve or to become. For instance, some examples of vision goals by companies include:
- Disney land: To make people happy
- (BBC) British Broadcasting Company: To be the most creative organization in the world.
The vision statement does not provide specific targets. Instead, the vision is a broad description of the value an organization provides. It is a visual image of what the organization is trying to produce or become thereby motivating and inspiring people.
The vision statement and mission statement are often confused, and many companies use the terms interchangeably. However, they each have a different purpose. The vision statement describes where the organization wants to be in the future; the mission statement describes what the organization needs to do now to achieve the vision. The vision and mission statements must support each other, but usually, the mission statement is more specific. It defines how the organization will be different from other organizations in its industry. Here are examples of mission statements from successful businesses:
- Adidas: We strive to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry with brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle.
- Amazon: We seek to be Earth's most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators.
The mission statement conveys to stakeholders why the organization exists. It explains how it creates value for the market or the larger community. Because it is more specific, the mission statement is more actionable than the vision statement. The mission statement leads to strategic goals. Strategic goals are the broad goals the organization will try to achieve.
The values statement, also called the code of ethics, differs from both the vision and mission statements. The vision and mission state where the organization is going (vision) and what it will do to get there (mission). They direct the efforts of people in the organization toward common goals. The values statement defines what the organization believes in and how people in the organization are expected to behave-with each other, with customers and suppliers, and with other stakeholders. It provides a moral direction for the organization that guides decision making and establishes a standard for assessing actions. It also provides a standard for employees to judge violations.
However, managers cannot just create a values statement and expect it to get followed. For a values statement to be effective, it must be reinforced at all levels of the organization and must be used to guide attitudes and actions. Organizations with strong values follow their values even when it may be easier not to. Levi Strauss & Co is an excellent example of a company that is driven by its values.
The vision, mission and values statements form the foundation for all activities in an organization. The vision statement describes what the organization will become in the future. It is a broad and inspirational statement intended to engender support from stakeholders. The mission statement defines how the organization differentiates itself from other organizations in its industry. It is more specific than the vision statement and is intended to show how stakeholders' needs will be satisfied. The values statement defines how people in the organization should behave. It provides a guideline for decision making.
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