Most corporations have basic philosophies and goals to shape the businesses strategically. Business founders and executives set the tone for a business by offering their vision of the company's strategic and social direction. The company mission statement distills the vision into more actionable terms and adds company values and philosophy. A corporation's goals may be explained in the vision and mission statements, but objectives are often clarified as departmental and individual employee goals.
Vision statements are single sentences designed to powerfully describe the direction of a company. Vision statements express the aspirations of a business's executives. The vision statement discusses strategic intent in terms of available resources, talent and direction of energies. The vision statement may be combined with the mission statement, but many companies choose to keep it separate to emphasize the intent highlighted in the statement. Many organizations aim to create highly memorable business vision statements.
Business law doesn't legally require corporations to offer public statements of intent, but the process aids companies in publicly defining the values and direction of the firm. The mission statement usually refrains from including specific targets and instead focuses on overall market position, company perspective and projection of the future. This statement informs customers, employees and other stakeholders of the executives' long-term expectations of a business's performance. The mission statement may explain why the company is in business, give details about the product offerings or describe the firm's philosophies.
Almost every business has three basic goals: survival, growth and profitability. The ideas presented in the vision and mission statements exemplify these goals and offer clues about how to reach the objectives. However, specifics on how to meet goals is often left to in-depth business plans created by executive teams and department heads. Occasionally, the creators of goals forgo long-term objectives in favor of more popular or exciting short-term goals. This can be disastrous for companies because it puts resources towards quick fixes instead of supplying the long-term objectives that support the company's progress.
A company vision, mission and goals all contain elements of the business's strategy. A business's strategy considers internal resources along with the external market environment to create an overall action plan incorporating the strengths of both elements. External factors include economic, political, competitive and social conditions. The internal environment includes the talent pool, the corporate culture and available resources. Strategic management aims to maximize company potential through intelligent application of resources and movement toward strategic goals.
- QuickMBA: The Business Vision and Company Mission Statement
- "Strategic Management, Eleventh Edition"; John A. Pearce, et al.; 2009
- Inc.; How to Set Business Goals; Peter Vanden Bos; June 2010
- Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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