Your Mission and Vision [Part 2]: The Why

March 16, 2022

In the first part of this series, we outlined the differences between a vision and mission statement, as well as why they are so important to your organization.  

In a nutshell, your vision is your north star, it’s a big, hairy goal that you’re always striving towards.  Your mission is the path you’ll take to reach your vision.

Creating Your Vision Statement

Your vision statement should capture the essence of where you want to take your business. Obviously, a vision is something you see. In this case, however, the clear mental image of your business at some time in the future must be memorialized in a written statement, so it provides your team with direction and purpose.

You shouldn’t be afraid to think big. For example, ActionCOACH’s vision is “World abundance through business re-education.” It’s not “San Diego abundance…”; it’s big, hairy.

Visioning is the first step in the process of strategic planning. The overarching question to ask yourself is this: What is our preferred future? 

In searching for your answer, it’s important to:

  • Draw on your beliefs
  • Describe what you want to see in the future
  • Be specific
  • Be positive and inspiring
  • Not assume the system will have the same framework as it does today
  • Be open to dramatic modifications to current organization, methodology, teaching techniques, facilities, etc.

While the process and outcomes of visioning may seem vague and superfluous, its long-term benefits are substantial. Among other things, it can break you out of boundary thinking, promote laser-like focus and encourage openness to unique and creative solutions.

And, for your visioning process to be successful, you must be able to overcome vision killers. These include tradition, short-term thinking and naysayers. 

To get started, exercise your planning techniques using this example: 

It is five years from today’s date and you have, marvelously enough, created your most desirable business.  Now it is your job, as a team, to describe it—as if you were able to see it, realistically around you. 

A key component for your vision is creating a mission statement. Only after clarifying your beliefs can you build on them to develop this important strategic planning element.

Creating Your Mission Statement

Your mission statement spells out the purpose and function of your business. The beliefs you’ve incorporated into your vision statement will be an integral part of the process to create it. As you get started, you need to be aware that your mission statement:

  • Should be future oriented and portray your business as it will be, as if it already exists
  • Must focus on one common purpose
  • Must be specific to your business, not generic
  • Must be a short statement, not more than one or two sentences

Your mission statement should set standards of excellence, clarify purpose and direction, inspire enthusiasm and encourage commitment, and set your business apart from the competition. Sound like a tall order? No one said it was going to be easy.

Among the things you must think about during the mission statement development process are what your product or service does for clients, what the driving force is behind your business and how you differentiate your business in the area of delivery. Also important is to consider the kind of relationships you wish to develop with clients, suppliers, shareholders, competitors, your community and your employees. 

This is an example of a well-developed mission statement: “By providing quality education, we empower individuals to become caring, competent, responsible citizens who value education as a lifelong process.”

Do you know where your company is headed and how you’ll get there?  Are you not sure where or how to start and how to enroll your team into the vision?  

Schedule a complimentary call to discuss how we can help you create your vision and mission statements, part of the strategic planning process that will grow your business to the point where it runs itself, rather than the business running YOU.

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