Envisioning the Destination and Route Map of Your Entrepreneurial Journey05 Feb 2019, Posted by Content marketing in
Your Organization’s Vision and Mission
A recent, interesting experience had me thinking about a lesson we learnt at the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey – the importance of setting a vision and defining a mission. I believed that, by now, with the many thousand articles and infinite success stories of great vision and mission statements, these concepts were the unwritten rules for any entrepreneurial or established initiative. However, I was in for a shock when one of my clients in asked me to prepare even their vision and mission statements while we worked on their website content! Though we specialize in content writing for ecommerce and IT products companies and its sales enablement, this unsettling experience took me back to the basics as I revisited the purpose of defining the goals of an organization, and I share with you a few of my observations. I hope you find them useful.
Our first vision statement was probably our innocent childhood answers to the evergreen question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answers varied from the obvious to the ridiculous: “A doctor saving all the poor”, “A pilot travelling across the world in a day”, “A cricketer winning the World Cup for my country”, or “A superhero swooping down to save a child from a burning house and killing the villainous demon”. With almost no training, we were able to successfully define a purpose and set a goal. Yet, somewhere, in our hurry to grow up, we often ignore these self-taught lessons.
So let’s take a quick walk across the basics.
Why have a vision and a mission?
Vision and mission are two essential elements of any entrepreneurial or personal initiative. They give you a sense of direction, set the purpose, and impart a meaning to your aspirations. They motivate you to overcome challenges and steer you through your entrepreneurial journey with focus. Without a vision and mission, you have no dream and you meander around your sea of opportunities with no purpose and disastrous consequences. Many articles explain the purpose of a vision and mission. These can be referred to before you embark on your journey of defining these essential aspects of your initiative.
What are vision and mission?
A vision is your goal, providing your organization and you the intended destination, leading you into a future state where you visualize the perfect end to the journey. A vision is inspirational and a target worth aiming at. It’s short and specific, but not too restrictive. It’s simple and ambitious but not too unrealistic. A vision can be set for about a period of 5 to 10 years, after which the organization can set new goals and define a new vision. Yes, visions too can evolve with time.
A mission is all about the present tense – it’s about how you can achieve your short-term goals to get to your vision, what the purpose of your work is and your differentiators, who your target audience is, and
what immediate effect you desire to achieve from your work. A mission is a map for the entire organization – every single employee and customer is part of the mission. A mission must be easy to remember and imbibe – it must represent the values and approach of every employee of the organization. Many companies widely publish their mission but might keep their vision to themselves. The net overflows with great examples of vision and mission statements.
How do we go about defining a vision and a mission?
1. Vision is the founding members’ goal and purpose when they visualize the entrepreneurial journey. Hence, the vision, at least initially, needs a lot of reflection from the organization’s leadership group.
2. The company’s vision statement is also a reflection of their core values. So start with defining your core values.
3. Ask yourselves the following questions:
* Why did you embark on this entrepreneurial journey?
* Where do you want to see yourselves, say, 7 years from now?
* What is the ultimate goal of your initiative?
* What is the biggest change you intend bringing to the lives of the people who would be touched by your service?
* What is the most desirable outcome of your entrepreneurial journey?
* What is the biggest differentiator that will set you apart in your field of expertise?
The answer to these questions would lead you to your vision statement – a precise, crisp, challenging, inspiring, and realistic statement that will be the leading beacon for your organization. Of course you will be going through multiple draft and reconsideration stages before you finalize the vision statement – do not rush because this statement positions your presence in the field of your expertise.
1. Defining a mission requires the organization’s effort. A mission statement relates to the present situation. It requires every member of the organization to identify with the statement and spend every effort in realizing the mission statement.
2. The mission statement should lead to the vision – there must be an integral connect between the two statements.
3. Ask the following questions:
* What does your organization do?
* For whom?
* What is the most important service your organization provides?
* How do you work – what are your best known for?
* What makes you the best in your field of expertise?
* What would your customers feel after they interact with you every time?
4. The answers to these questions will help you achieve a measurable mission statement. Here too, you will have to work on defining and refining multiple times – especially since it involves buy-in from your employees as well.
5. Ensure that your mission statement is understood and imbibed by every employee.
Now, at least some of the instructions for vision and mission statements do seem to overlap, doesn’t it? So, let’s try to clarify the concept of vision and mission through some examples:
To be a leader in the Indian automobile industry creating customer delight and shareholder wealth – a pride of India
* Modernization of the Indian automobile industry
* Production of fuel-efficient vehicles to conserve scarce resources
* Market penetration, market development
* Networking and partnerships
* Openness and learning
To provide access to the world’s information in one click
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful
Smarter transportation with fewer cars and greater access
To connect people with reliable rides through the use of data and technology
To make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. Our goal is to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2025. We will be the best place to work for people who share our passion. Together we will deliver superior value for our customers and shareholders.
Improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation
To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees
Saving people money so they can live better
How can a content writer help you?
Well, we cannot step into your shoes to build from scratch – but we can definitely guide you craft the vision and mission statements. After you do your brainstorming, do come to us with your thoughts and we will work with you to derive the statements that represent your vision and mission.
So what are you waiting for? Take a step back from your routine work to define the vision and mission statements that best represent your dreams, aspirations, purpose, and differentiators. We’ll help you fine tune these statements that will guide your organization to achieve all your ambitious goals