What’s the Difference Between these Statements?

So, you’re right about to begin crafting your strategic plan, but you don’t know the difference between all the different components. Especially your mission, vision, values or principles? Do we really need so many different statements? Are they just something to get everyone to memorize? Are they different from each other? What are they really supposed to do?

Yes, they are all different. Do you need them all? Probably not all of them, but you need to know what they do. Not only do the statements that you craft have immediate effects, but they also work to guide the rest of your plan.

Mission Statements: What you’re here to do

Your mission statement is a declaration of an organization’s core purpose. A mission statement answers the question, “why do we exist?” They are essential for your strategic plan. Your mission statement needs to be easy to remember and it needs to provide actual direction. There’s nothing worse than a mission statement that is just a jumble of business speak.

Once you have your mission figured out, you have the core that all of your objectives will be drawing their direction from. Your employees will know, “this is what we do.” Additionally, your public will know what to expect from you.

Vision Statements: Where you’re going

A vision statement is a declaration of where you are headed – your future state. To formulate a picture of what your organization’s future makeup will be and where the organization is headed. We always explain your vision as “knowing what mountain you’re climbing,” and your mission as “how you’re going to get there.” Your vision is the ambitious future Point B to your current Point A.

Having a clear vision in place tells your employees where they’ll be if they stick around. If you want to craft a powerful vision, first ask, what will your organization look like 5 to 10 years from now?

Values Statements: What you will or won’t do to get where you want

Your values statement should explain what you stand for and what you believe in. Organizations that want to stick around can’t be heartless, money hungry institutions- they reflect the priorities of those who lead them, so it’s important to take the time to examine your own principles- and lend them to your organization.

For more on these subjects, check out our other articles on the topics:

For a deep dive on Mission Statements, check out our post on all things mission.

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