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Most Criteria for Vision and Mission Statement – Comparison and Contrast

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Vision and mission statement of an organization are necessary guidelines for the company to have a sense of direction in a continuously changing business environment. These statements remain fairly stable and provide guidance for the strategic management of the firm. Vision statement is a precise declaration of the organization’s intention to achieve a status at some point in future (Angelica, 2001). In other words, it is a spelled out image of the firm which it is aspiring towards. The mission of the organization is a tangible statement of the manner in which the organization will achieve its vision.

It is the direction and purpose of the organization in written form, which motivates the entire company towards a goal. Most Important Criteria for Vision Statement The vision statement of the organization should remain relatively stable for a reasonably long period of time The vision statement of the organization should paint a dream which is beyond what an ordinary mind can conceive. It should stand for the top of a mountain rather than a small destination in the hills It should not be so obscure or convoluted that only a handful a people can understand or be able to picture it in their mind.

It should be something which can be easily related to by the all level of employees in the firm The vision statement should be unique to the organization in terms of its core competencies. It should not be as general that it can fit any other organization without any change The language used in the vision statement should be such that provokes people emotionally and engages them into the vision Reason for Importance The stability of the vision statement is important because formation of vision statement is an arduous task for the company needs to analyze its core competencies in contrast with the development in the business world.

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Frequently changing vision statement will cause the people to lose their faith on the vision. If the dream presented by vision is too easily achievable, it will not challenge the employees of the organization to put efforts and will result in ordinary results. This will kill the primary purpose of the vision statement which is to get extraordinary results from the resources. If the vision statement is too convoluted, it will not be understood and even more importantly related to by the employees of the organization. It should present an imagery which is considered challenging yet attainable by the people.

The wording used in the vision statement should not be a matter-of-fact tone. Rather, it should paint a picture for the people that exhort them to desire the vision to come true. The vision statement is for the people. It should serve as a driver for success and all the above criteria ensures that it fulfills its purpose (Partridge, 2003). Most Important Criteria for Mission Statement The mission statement should be worded concisely with as few words used which can adequately express the essence of the statement The mission statement should flow from the vision statement of the organization.

It should be spelled out as a concrete statement which translates vision statement into an action plan The mission statement of the organization should be a single thought which can be carried into the mind of the employees It should be created by participation of all levels of employees in the organization, not just dictated by the top or middle level management The breadth of the mission statement should be optimum. It should not be too narrow that it restricts the growth of the organization or too broad that there is a loss of focus of the firm in the face of changing business environment

Reason for Importance The mission statement should be worded in few words, so that it can be easily remembered by the people within the organization, which will make it easier it to pervade the statements within all ranks of the firm. The mission statement should not be in conflict with the vision of the company, because by definition it should flow naturally form the vision statement. The thought presented by the mission statement should be one overwhelming idea. Several notions in the mission statement will dilute the message and weaken its ability to be translated into action.

To have the buy-in of all the people in the firm on the mission statement, it is necessary that everyone is the organization is invited to participate in its formation, so that they get a feeling of ownership. Similarities and Differences between the criteria of Mission and Vision The similarities in important criteria of mission and vision statement is that both should be challenging enough for the organization’s employees so that it inspires to put beyond ordinary efforts in their assigned tasks.

Also, the balance between the generality and specificity is required in both, because the external environment is changing constantly and the firm is required to change its strategy in accordance with the appearance of opportunities presented by this change. If the statements are too narrow, it can result in the loss of opportunities for the firm due to narrow definition of the scope of its business. Conversely, if they are too long, the company will lose focus of the scope of business and will end up diluting its resources over too long a horizon (Welch, 2008).

The differences between the criteria for mission and vision statement are that vision does not require the participation of all hierarchical layers, rather it is crafted by the top management of the company. Also, the mission of the organization can change every three to five years, however, the vision is expected to remain unchanged for a considerably longer period of time.


Welch, J. , & Welch, S. (2008). State your business: Too many mission statements are loaded with fatheaded jargon. Play it straight.Business Week, (4066)80. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1412280431). Web site: http://proquest. umi. com/pqdweb? index=6&did=1412280431&SrchMode=1&sid=22&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1241443715&clientId=29440 Partridge, Lesley. , et al. ’s. (2003). Strategic Management. USA: Select Knowledge Limited. p 28 Angelica, Emil. , et al. ’s. (2001). The Wilder nonprofit field guide to crafting effective mission and vision statements. USA: Fieldstone Alliance. p 25

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