One of our most popular blog posts, An Association Mission Statement, What it is (and isn’t), touches on the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement.
While at first glance, the differences may seem small, the fact is that the two serve very different purposes. The mission statement is about the present, and the vision statement is about the future. The mission statement is “every day,” and the vision statement is the “someday.”
A few examples to illustrate the differences:
Mission Statement: A company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.
Vision Statement: Using our unlimited passion for technology, content and services to deliver groundbreaking new excitement and entertainment, as only Sony can.
Mission statement: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Vision statement: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
Mission statement: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Vision statement: People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Some iconic Vision statements:
Honda (1970s): We will destroy Yamaha.
Wikipedia: Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.
Microsoft: A computer on every desktop and in every home.
Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
A strong vision statement:
Focuses on the direction an organization needs to go in order to make the biggest impact
Isn’t timeless; a good vision statement should have a 5-10 year lifespan
Is concise (1-2 sentences)
A key to progress is to have a clear vision for staff and members to understand where the association is headed. The vision statement is aspirational and outlines the future. It defines what you want to become, allowing for innovation, purpose, and growth. What are you waiting for?