Sometimes mission and vision are confused. Sometimes mission and vision are neglected. Sometimes mission and vision are ignored because it's too hard to work on, it's too much time away from operations, the ROI isn't always direct. Let me see if I can help. (Link to a podcast conversation about mission and vision)
Mission is a short description of your organizational purpose or reason for being. It should be specific enough to act like a compass to determine direction, chart new paths and help your organization say no if things don't fit. Mission is not a list of programs, a description of structure, location, unique delivery of services. It is your reason for existence.
Vision is a compelling picture of the preferred future. Vision acts like photos or videos of a place you want to go (like a travel website). It helps paint a picture of what life will be like when your organization has successfully lived out its mission and you have had the impact you want. Imagine Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have A Dream speech. Dr. King was trying to paint the world a picture that we cannot help but want to join. He didn't spend time describing how to get there, but instead moved our hearts and imaginations to embrace his vision.
MISSION and VISION PODCAST: I was interviewed about organizational mission and vision by our friend Steve Goodwin from Turning West. He and I talked about the role of mission and vision, how leaders should wrapping themselves around mission and vision to shape an organizational culture aligned with the purpose. This is is both urgent AND important for organizations, so take a listen. It just might very well be the best use of your time.
The job of leaders is to steward or care for the mission and vision of the organization and create a culture that wraps itself fully in those commitments. What are two things you can do today to root yourself and your team in the organization's mission and vision? Listen to PODCAST.
Kristin Wiersma | kristin@thejoshua-group..com | Consultant Team Lead | The Joshua Group