Mission and vision
Is the mission in a company a driving force for actions? Does a mission provide overall goal, a path, and is it a guide for decision-making?
And a vision? Is it an aspiration for a company? Does it focus on the potential essentials in the company's mid-term or long-term future, or what company intends to be?
Most of mission and vision statements are generic, therefore awfully deficient. A result of long-drawn meetings where in the end everyone is so tired and approves any nonsense just to bring it to the conclusion. They are full of phrases like ‘market-leader’, ‘best-in-region’, ‘most successful’, ‘best customer/owner value’, ‘leading in this and that'. Fluffy words that mean nothing. They just repulse a reader and make skip the text!
The company’s vision is a part of the strategy that should cover the period of three to five years. The strategy provides strategic areas of the company, defines and takes care of risks, contains measurable impacts and measurement instruments, and must be “practical” in respect of the contained vision that is e.g. four times the time span of the strategy and should read as a story describing company sometime between fifteen to twenty years from now. If it is too specific, company will limit its vision and it won't be applicable ten years from when it was written.
A good vision statement doesn't tell how you're going to get somewhere; yet it does set the direction for your business planning. It tells clearly about what company is and what company aspires to become. A typical corporate or company vision statement will be brief and concise and will voice a lot in just a few words, so those words must be very carefully chosen. A company has to have a clear vision on what they want to become in the future and which business model to use.
Unlike the vision statement, a company's mission is a constant reminder to the employees of why the company exists and what the initiators foresaw when they joint their reputation and risked their fortune by initiating the business they visualize. A good mission statement articulates the purpose of the company. It explains why it exists, what it does and for whom. It serves as a beacon, as an ongoing guide that confirms what the company is all about. And contrary to the vision it is written to focus on the here and now.
Outstanding leaders use these tools to lead the people and company in perturbing times as well allowing employees to guide themselves during the calm times.