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Are you on a mission?

Many people ask us what the difference is between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement.

And they also ask – ‘do I really need them?’

Our answer to the second question is a simple ‘yes’.

Mission Statements and Vision Statements provide direction to a business and a guide to the owners thinking. We see a lot of owners looking here, there, and everywhere to grow a business without giving consideration to where they actually want to go or thinking about the core competency of the business they own.

Having a view of where you want to get to, and a statement about how you plan to get there, gives grounding and guidance to strategic thinking. It gives your company direction.

So, what is the difference between the two?

Firstly, vision is an odd word. We prefer to ask questions like these:

“Where do you see yourself and/or your business in 5 years? Or 10 years?”

“Do you see yourself still owning the business by then?”

“Do you see the business being bigger?

“Do you see the business being smaller?”

“When do see the next generation taking over from you?"

Did you 'see' what we did there?

Secondly, having a vision is simply seeing yourself and your business at some point in the future and being able to describe it. What you see as your goal is yours and yours alone. Your vision for your company doesn’t have to be a world saving outcome. (But then it can be if you want it to. Giving your business a cause to fight for is a great motivator for staff, a stimulus for internal development and a great recruitment tool.)

Once you can see what it is you want to achieve you can begin to craft your Mission Statement. The Mission Statement simply describes to some degree how you propose to get there.

For example: If your vision is to have a great family holiday in Auckland, your mission will describe the journey to get there. By car? By bus? By plane? If by road, do you want to go through Hamilton or Gordonton?

Currently we are helping our members draft their own Mission and Vision Statements using our Mission and Vision Builder system. And they couldn’t be more varied. Some people really do want to change the world and others just want a business in the best possible shape to sell in the next 5 years.

So the point is to get something down on paper. And revisit it every so often. Remember, like all successful journeys, you must first know where you are starting from, where you are going and how you plan to get there.

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I'm Roger

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