Author and speaker Simon Sinek has popularized the ‘why’ question. This refers to an approach that starts from the end result it plans to achieve, and works backwards from there. That is why we need mission and vision in business.
This is far more effective than moving forward without any goal in sight, and manipulating strategies along with way.
Regardless of company size, mission and vision statements provide owners and employees a purpose. This is integral to the company’s strategy. These statements define what your future goals are, and what tactics you need to achieve them.
And while most people confuse the two terms, mission and vision are not interchangeable. In the following paragraphs, we discuss why you need mission and vision statements in your business.
What is a Mission Statement?
The mission of a company outlines what it does, its goals, and the strategy or strategies for reaching those goals. A mission statement focuses on where the company stands at present, and what steps it will take to achieve its goals. The mission statement then guides the culture of the organization.
This statement also enables your business to distinguish itself from competitors by answering questions like, what do we do, for whom do we do it, and what is the benefit. When applied properly, the mission of a company becomes a slogan, a mantra against which all future actions are filtered.
So let’s assume you are a small business delivering organic lunches to local offices. Your mission statement can “we offer offices of all sizes lunch items made from organic ingredients to promote health and wellness in the corporate space”.
At Hartman, our mission statement is to
“retain our standing as a top performing REIT by buying commercial real estate that is under performing, creating value by improving the properties and leasing them up. In doing so, grow the company to $2 billion in assets by 2025 and $5 billion by 2030. Through the entire process, we will glorify God by being a faithful steward for all that is entrusted to us.”
So our entire organizations knows the three strategies from our mission. They recognize what we do, where we want to see ourselves in the next three decades, and how we will achieve that target.
What is a Vision Statement?
The vision of a company looks to the future, providing direction where the company wants to see itself in 5, 10, or 50 years. Coupled with the mission statement, your vision is instrumental in creating organizational strategy.
To draft a vision statement, you need to answer questions regarding your dreams and aspirations. You envision a future that your company plays a key part in shaping. However, the vision must be realistic, credible, and attractive. This will help your employees be compelled to work towards it. In fact, at Hartman, we have made our employees a part of our vision statement:
“We deliver exceptional investor returns through an empowered team that provides unparalleled service to tenants in an environment of belonging and purpose.”
In closing, remember that your mission and vision statements also serve a marketing purpose, giving your customers, investors, and shareholders a reason for giving you their money.