By Mark T. Burke
Confused about Mission vs. Vision? Does it matter if your organization interchanges these words thinking they mean the same thing? I’ll leave that to you to decide after your read this article. For now, let’s just agree to explore each and make an informed decision.
Spend a few minutes on the Merriam-Webster site and you’ll find a variety of definitions for both words. Keep in mind though, we’re exploring the relationship between the two and as such, we’re looking for distinctions as well. I found this graphic that speaks volumes. Notice that Vision is all about Ideas, Foresight, Concepts, Seeing and Direction. Mission involves Plans, Scales, Paths, Tools and Goals or Accomplishments. This graphic showcases well that Vision is an idea and Mission is the path to help you accomplish an idea.
If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, you probably know about MARS, the series on NatGeo. I believe this series does a great job of making the distinction between Vision and Mission clear.
Vision = Colonize Mars
Mission = Build rockets that can land and take off again, Build systems to support life, Gather tons of money and support, Train experts, Break the laws of physics, etc. etc.
Vision is the DREAM….and Mission is the HOW.
The relationship between the two as well as the distinction, helps organizations create clear internal and external facing documentation of both. And, as we aim to ensure we have a powerful Vision and a clear Mission, understanding the two clarifies the development process.
If you have any questions about Vision and Mission or you’re ready to explore your organization’s development and application of both, use the Contact tab above to send me a message.