Whereas a mission statement explains what you are doing, a vision statement will explain why you’re doing it and what the long-term intended benefits and/or outcomes will be as a result of your mission.
Moreover, a vision statement should be highly inspirational such that it excites and motivates everyone who reads it.
It’s worth noting here that the distinction between a mission and vision statement is a confusing subject and it’s an open debate as to how these statements differ. We believe there is a clear distinction between the two statements, which is:
- A mission statement explains what it is that you are doing
- A vision statement explains why you are doing it – to what end or purpose.
For instance, at Whyable our vision is “to harness the power of technology in order to make a more peaceful, soulful and sustainable world.” To elaborate on this, we firmly believe that technology has the power to overcome and resolve many of the world’s major problems such as workplace inefficiencies, food and resource waste, global warming and climate change, just to name a few. To overcome and resolve these problems we need to harness the power of technology as a means of creating innovative new products and solutions which enable us to change the way we live our lives and ease the impact that we have on the planet through our increasing consumption of resources and production of goods and services. We believe that such innovation and change can and should in turn lead to a more peaceful and sustainable world for us all – otherwise we are all doomed if we don’t!
Seven example Vision statements
Below are seven vision statements from well known companies and organisations. It’s worth considering whether of not the vision statement accords with how you currently perceive and understand who these businesses are and what they’re actually doing in the real world.
IKEA – “Our vision is to create a better every-day life for many people”.
Habitat for Humanity – “A world where everyone has a decent place to live”.
Save The Children – “A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.”
WWF – “We seek to save a planet, a world of life. Reconciling the needs of human beings and the needs of others that share the Earth…”
Oxfam – “A world without poverty”
Nike – “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)”
McDonalds – “To be the best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.”