Dr. Pero Mićić

Actually, it’s quite simple. Mission and vision are clearly definable and defined terms. Actually. And yet many companies have it wrong, even the big and supposedly very professional companies.

Examples: Not a mission! Not a vision!

Audi

Audi makes the following statement as their mission on its website: Consistently Audi.

Sorry, this is not a mission!

As a vision Audi states: “Unleash the beauty of sustainable mobility”. And again, that too contradicts the definition of vision used by most experts. This is not a vision. Funnily enough, it’s more of a mission, as the verb “unleash” indicates.

Ford

Anyone who wants a job with Ford and asks what Ford’s mission and vision is like will get the following answer:

One team, one plan, one goal. One Ford is FMC’s mission and vision.​

This is beyond me. Basically this is one of the reasons why I don’t see a good future for Ford and wouldn’t buy shares. It is neither a mission nor a vision. It is extremely ignorant to try to cover two very different concepts with a single statement.

IKEA

IKEA writes: Our Vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.

I am sorry, but this is not a vision. It is a mission.

Mission and vision: clear definitions

You could say it is completely irrelevant how you define mission and vision. Just make sure there are statements about strategy at all.

However, I think it’s dangerous and expensive. Then we could also say that it doesn’t matter if we call something a task or a goal.

No, if you call the task a goal and the goal a task, you confuse people. They then work less motivated, less goal-oriented, less consistent.

A clear mission and vision should create orientation, give direction, offer meaning. And for this we need clear definitions and an undoubted common understanding within the company.

We have today, that is, the present, and we have the future ahead of us.

A mission is the promised effect that a company fulfils for its customers permanently.

It applies today and until we change it. It drives us and guides us.

Mission Vision Today Future

Examples of a mission that has been well done

HubSpot

At HubSpot they say: Our mission is to make the world INBOUND. Inbound means that marketing no longer acts outbound as a loudspeaker and sales no longer puts customers under pressure. Instead, you make yourself so interesting and attractive to customers that they come to you on their own. Inbound, from the outside to the inside.​

TESLA

The mission of TESLA is: Accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport and energy. A mission they already achieved, in principle.

SpaceX

The mission of SpaceX is: To make humankind a multiplanetary species. Interestingly, here we have a case where the vision is derivable from the mission. It’s clear, the ‘multiplanetary species’ is then the vision of SpaceX.

These are three examples of a mission that has been well done.

In contrast to a mission, a vision is a concrete picture of a fascinating, jointly aspired and feasible future of a person or a company. It always lies in the future and its realization is a positive challenge.​

Examples of a Vision that has been well done

Amazon

The vision of Amazon: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company.

Microsoft

The former vision of Microsoft: A personal computer in every home running Microsoft software.

Southwest Airlines

The vision of Southwest Airlines is: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.

Comparison of mission and vision

Comparison of mission and vision by criteria

You should not derive the mission from your vision. Your mission is not meant to only achieve your vision. Your mission constitutes your company. You should develop your vision on the basis of your mission.​

It is important to know that a mission and a vision must never consist of just one sentence. It must be well explained and justified.​

And now?

Test your own mission and vision now. That for your life or that of your company. 

Make sure you don’t confuse your colleagues and employees and with that achieve the opposite of what you want to achieve. Give your employees a clear orientation on the two core questions: 

Mission: What are we here for?​ Vision: Where do we want to go?

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