The Business Vision and Mission
After studying this unit, you should be able to do the following:
➢ Describe the nature and role of vision and mission statements in strategic management
➢ Discuss why the process of developing a mission statement is as important as the resulting document
➢ Identify the components of mission statements
➢ Discuss how clear vision and mission statements can benefit other strategic management activities
➢ Evaluate mission statements of different organisations
➢ Write good vision and mission statements
What Do We Want to Become?
It is especially important for managers and executives in any organization to agree upon the basic vision that the firm strives to achieve in the long term. A vision statement should answer the basic question, “What do we want to become?” A clear vision provides the foundation for developing a comprehensive mission statement. Many organizations have both a vision and mission statement, but the vision statement should be established first and foremost. The vision statement should be short, preferably one sentence, and as many managers as possible should have input into developing the statement.
Several example vision statements:
➢ The Vision of the National Pawnbrokers Association is to have complete and vibrant membership that enjoys a positive public and political image and is the focal organization of all pawn associations. - National Pawnbrokers Association
➢ Our Vision as an independent community financial institution is to achieve superior long-term shareholder value, exercise exemplary corporate citizenship, and create an environment which promotes and rewards employee development and the consistent delivery of quality service to our customers. - First Reliance Bank of Florence, South Carolina
➢ At CIGNA, we intend to be the best at helping our customers enhance and extend their lives and protect their financial security. Satisfying customers is the key to meeting employee needs and shareholder expectations, and will enable CIGNA to build on our reputation as a financially strong and highly respected company.
What is Our Business?
Current thought on mission statements is based largely on guidelines set forth in the mid 1970s by Peter Drucker, who is often called “the father of modern management” for his pioneering studies at General Motors Corporation and for his 22 books and hundreds of articles. Harvard Business Review has called Drucker “the preeminent management thinker of our time.”
Drucker says that asking the question “What is our business?” is synonymous with asking the question “What is our mission?” An enduring statement of purpose that distinguishes one organization from other similar enterprises, the mission statement is a declaration of an organization’s “reason for being.” It answers the pivotal question “What is our business?” A clear mission statement is essential for effectively establishing objectives and formulating strategies.
Sometimes called a creed statement, a statement of purpose, a statement of philosophy, a statement of beliefs, a statement of business principles, or a statement “defining our business,” a mission statement reveals what an organization wants to be and whom it wants to serve. All organizations have a reason for being, even if strategists have not consciously transformed this reason into writing.
Some strategists spend almost every moment of every day on administrative and tactical concerns, and strategists who rush quickly to establish objectives and implement strategies often overlook the development of a vision and mission statement. This problem is widespread even among large organizations.
Some companies develop mission statements simply because they feel it is fashionable, rather than out of any real commitment. However, firms that develop and systematically revisit...
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