In the last 25 years or so, vision statements have grown to become a staple of organizational life. Companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies – they all have their vision statements. They also routinely confuse them with mission statements.
A vision statement is, in its purest form, describes what an organization (or individual; I’ve know some individuals with vision statements) aspires to be. A mission statement is how the organization intends to achieve that vision. The shorthand version: what we want to be, and what we’re doing to get there.
You can read a vision statement, and know immediately that it was either produced by an individual, perhaps with a person or two helping, or by a committee or series of committees. An individually written one usually strives for one idea; the committee-written one (assisted by the Legal Department) tries to include everything top make sure nothing (and department) is omitted.
When done well, both a vision statement and a mission statement can read like a fine, moving poem.
To continue reading, please see my post today at TweetSpeak Poetry.
Photograph: Night Vision by Mark Coldren via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.