Difference between Vision and Mission (A Comprehensive Guide)

Psychology is a fascinating subject and it tries to explain almost every phenomenon regarding the human mind and behavior.

However, there are many branches of psychology out there that take the lead in explaining the implications of psychology in different fields.

One of those branches is organizational psychology as it explains how psychology can play its part in the organizational field.

It not only explains the dynamics of the organization but also its structure, it’s working, and methods to create a harmonious atmosphere in the organization.

There is a growing demand for organizational psychologists in the field these days.

Organizations are hiring more and more psychologists to get their organization and atmosphere of support and productivity.

However, before moving towards the creation of a harmonious atmosphere, the company needs to be explained well on the website or to its customers.

This calls for a clearly written mission statement and vision statement. 

Let’s know about vision and mission before getting to know about the difference between vision and mission.

Many people do not know that it is of utmost importance for a company to have a well-written mission and vision statement.

Once an organization is sure about its vision and mission only then it will move further in a successful direction.

However, unfortunately, not everyone knows the difference between vision and mission statement.

Before we go on writing towards a vision statement or a mission statement, we need to know the difference between vision and mission.

This article will help you understand the difference between vision and mission.

If you are an entrepreneur and you are about to write a mission statement or a vision statement about your company, you should know the difference between vision and mission.

Before moving towards finding the difference between vision and mission we should first learn what mission is and what vision is.

Let’s know about vision and mission before getting to know about the difference between vision and mission.

  • Organizational Vision and Mission

Most of the companies nowadays have both mission and vision statements because companies need a direction too just like people.

Lack of direction can cause many setbacks in business. Moreover, in addition to direction, businesses are in need of setting goals which they can aim at and knowing how they will be able to achieve those goals.

Similarly, a company’s employees are also in need of a sense of cohesiveness so they can work in a harmonious atmosphere.

All of these are explained under mission and vision statements by the company.

Moreover, vision and mission statements are not only helpful in business but these are helpful in any type of strategic plan you are going to make.

Mission and vision are two of the six core elements essential for the strategic planning process.

It is of paramount importance to get your mission and vision statement right because it will create an impression of your company.

If you don’t have a well-written vision and mission statement then you will lose a lot of good opportunities which include:

  • Attracting New Talent
  • Engaging and retaining new talent
  • Increase in productivity while utilizing all available resources so the strategic plan can be fully implemented.
  • Building organizational culture. 

According to a study, organizations with a well-written mission and vision statements often outperform companies that do not have a clearly written mission and vision statement.

We shall now try to explain what mission and vision and then we shall try to explain the difference between vision and mission.

  • What is a mission statement? 

The mission statement is a declaration from the company about what they do on a day to day basis.

It mainly defines daily activities of the company’s work and of every person who works for that particular organization in order to contribute to their mission.

You can take the example of a person’s goals which he sets daily or weekly goals to accomplish for them.

It also tells the employees as well as the customers what is being done on the work front.

The mission statement is mostly present-focused and the company can change it any time according to the market demands and circumstances.

Moreover, the employees feel a sense of purpose when they know they have assigned value to the work.

The cohesiveness of an organization is described in the mission statement even if the work is varied in the organization.

The mission statement is usually started with ‘we are a..’ or ‘we offer..’ or ‘we provide..’. A framework of the behavior of people working n the organization is defined by the mission statement.

A mission statement can provide a base for performance standards for the company and the decision making of the employees can be guided by these standards on different levels of a company. 

  • How a Mission Statement Works

It is important to know what vision and mission statements do in order to understand the difference between vision and mission. A mission statement serves the following purpose. 

  • It mainly defines the current state of the organization as well as the current purpose so people could know what an organization is focused on. 
  • It answers what an organization does, who it does it for, and how it does what is being done.
  • It is usually written in a sentence or two and mostly focused on the present or near future like 2-3 years.
  • Written in simple language so every employee could be able to articulate upon request. 

Company-wide decisions are better understood by employees if a mission statement is clearly defined. 

  • What is a vision statement?

The vision statement is a little different than the mission statement.

A vision statement can be defined as “what you want to accomplish and what the world will look like once you’ve accomplished your mission”.

Vision can be thought of as a perfect scenario that a company tries to accomplish or is aiming at.

This can be taken as the dream that the company is going after and wish to attain in the long run.

The company would also like to know the importance of their work in the community in which they are working because it is of the utmost importance when it comes to establishing a vision.

A vision statement is future-oriented contrary to the mission statement and provides a sense of the company’s values for both inside and out of the company.

Some companies also use vision statements for the purpose of public relations as well.

A vision statement is mostly directed to the overall strategic goals of a company and that’s why it does not change very often.

Every goal that a company accomplishes proves as a step forward towards achieving the overall vision of the company.

A vision statement is written in the present and still serves as a future-oriented goal for the company.

A vision statement for an IT company is ‘provide IT solutions for every consumer without exception of domestic or commercial users’.

This statement tells us that everyone will get IT solutions so the IT solution provider is the overall strategic goal of the company.

Working without a vision in the business sector can make you lose your way just like a tourist can get lost in a new city without a map.

You won’t know about your actual destination without a vision statement.

A vision statement provides much-needed direction to your business and also shows the importance of that direction.

Every company should have a strong and well-written vision statement. 

  • How a Vision Statement Works

A vision statement is probably the strongest tool in order to keep your business going forward.

One must know what a vision statement does and how it can glorify and increase the worth of your company as well as provide you a future road map for the business.

A vision statement serves the following purposes.

  • It provides inspiration as well as guidance to the organization and tells you what an organization is focused on achieving incoming five-ten or more years. 
  • A vision statement is brief, comprehensive, and motivating that it is learned by every employee so they can repeat at any given time.
  • It provides the company’s desired future state and an image of what an organization would like to achieve over the course of years.
  • It can be said that a vision statement functions as a north start and all employees understand that their work every day will make them achieve a long term goal of the vision statement.
  • Leaders of an organization may change over the course of time but the vision statement remains the same providing employees with a steady long term goal to work for. 
  • A vision statement also helps the organization to focus its resources on a clearly stated vision even if the leadership does not remain the same.
  • The Difference Between Vision and Mission

In order to understand the difference between vision and mission, we need to understand the following. 

  • The primary difference between vision and mission is the difference in the timeline.
  • Sometimes these two can be overlapped but a mission statement provides the information of the current working of an organization while a vision statement is basically about the ultimate goal of the organization. The vision statement is focused on future accomplishment and what the organization meant to do when it was established. 
  • A difference between vision and mission is that the mission is what an organization does in order to accomplish its vision.
  • The mission statement tells us how the organization is doing while the vision statement is more focused on why the mission is being done.
  • Another difference between vision and mission is that the mission statement is also used as a cohesive management tool and it can be changed as soon as the circumstances change. 
  • The mission of the organization also encapsulates employees’ behaviors, duties, and actions. The reason is that a vision statement is a goal that may or may not be elusive and employees’ behaviors and daily activities cannot be directed by a vision statement. A vision statement is more of a motivating tool for the employees so they know what a company is working towards. 
  • Another difference between vision and mission is that some companies use the term core values instead of a vision statement and use an action plan instead of ‘mission statement’.

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FAQ about the difference between vision and mission

What makes a good mission statement?

A clearly defined current working state of your organization is what makes a good mission statement.

It should be simple, brief, and well-written for the employees to understand. 

What makes a good vision statement?

A statement that defines your organization’s future aspirations and ultimate goals is a good vision statement.

Moreover, it should be articulate and well-written.

References

Evans, J. (Apr, 2010): “Vision and Mission.:

Drake, W. (March, 2020). “The difference between vision and mission” 

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