Free Mission and Vision Statement Templates
By Joe Weller | October 23, 2018
In this article, you’ll find the most useful tips for writing mission and vision statements, examples of mission and vision statements from leading global organizations, and free Word, PDF, and Google Docs templates to get you started.
Mission Statement Worksheet Template
Download Mission Statement Worksheet Template
The mission statement worksheet will help you gather the information, ideas, words, and phrases to generate a mission statement. You can share the template solely within your organization or with clients, customers, directors, suppliers, and others who can help shape your message.
Mission Statement Template
Download Mission Statement Template
Word | Google Docs
This mission statement template presents a series of who, what, why, and how questions to explore your organization’s function, clients, and purpose. It is available in Word and Google Docs formats, so you can easily save it to your Google Drive and share with relevant parties.
Vision Statement Worksheet Template
Download Vision Statement Worksheet Template
Print or share this vision statement worksheet to gather ideas from employees, clients, and other stakeholders about what your organization’s vision should be. This template includes space for users to draw or insert an image of their vision for the organization.
What Is a Mission Statement of a Company?
A mission statement is a quick, succinct, memorable way of communicating a business or nonprofit’s unique purpose, function, and day-to-day goals to employees, clients, and other stakeholders. Mission statements are usually part of the business plan and often form part of the executive summary . Functioning in such capacities, mission statements can become the summation of a business strategy.
What Is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement describes the ultimate goals and overarching purpose of a for-profit or nonprofit organization. A vision statement can serve as the cornerstone of strategic planning, providing an organization with direction and a general destination as well as defining its aspirations and values. Some say that the vision statement is what would remain if an organization could no longer produce a particular product or service.
Mission Statement Examples for Businesses
Following are some examples of mission statements for for-profit companies:
- Warby Parker: Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
- American Express: We work hard every day to make American Express the world's most respected service brand.
- Workday: Workday was founded on a disruptive idea: to put people at the center of enterprise software.
- Disney: Our mission is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services, and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative, and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.
- Louis Vuitton: The mission of the LVMH group is to represent the most refined qualities of Western “Art de Vivre” around the world. LVMH must continue to be synonymous with both elegance and creativity. Our products, and the cultural value they embody, blend tradition and innovation and kindle dream and fantasy.
- Tesla: Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
Mission Statement Examples for Nonprofits
- NPR: The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with Member Stations to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.
- Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières [MSF]): MSF was created in the belief that all people should have access to healthcare regardless of gender, race, religion, creed, or political affiliation and that people’s medical needs outweigh respect for national boundaries.
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS): Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
- Heifer International: Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.
- The New York Public Library: The mission of the New York Public Library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities.
- Livestrong: We improve the lives of people affected by cancer, now.
- Ted Talks: TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short powerful talks (18 minutes or less).
Example Business Vision Statements
Here are some examples of business vision statements:
- Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
- IKEA: At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Boeing: People working together as a global enterprise for aerospace industry leadership.
- BBC: The BBC’s vision is to be the most creative organisation in the world.
- Ben & Jerry’s: Making the best ice cream, in the nicest possible way.
- Progressive: Progressive’s vision is to reduce the human trauma and economic costs associated with automobile accidents.
- ASOS: Our vision is to become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
Example Nonprofit Vision Statements
Here are some examples of nonprofit vision statements:
- VFW: Our vision is to ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country.
- Amnesty International: Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.
- ASPCA: Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law.
- Cleveland Clinic: We strive to be the world’s leader in patient experience, clinical outcomes, research, and education.
- Ducks Unlimited: The vision of Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.
- Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC): The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.
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What Is the Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement?
A mission statement describes the purpose and day-to-day effort of an organization. A vision statement describes an organization’s ultimate goal or future outcome. But the two work in tandem: A vision statement expresses what you ultimately want to achieve; a mission statement articulates what you will do to get there.
Together, the mission and vision statements provide direction and destination. (You outline the actual specifics of how to achieve a mission or vision when discussing goals and objectives.) The terms mission statement and vision statement are sometimes used interchangeably. In addition, people sometimes substitute the word mantra for the term mission statement. However, strictly speaking, a mantra refers to a value-loaded slogan.
Senior managers usually craft mission and vision statements for an organization. Managers at other levels may prepare mission or vision statements for specific departments or programs.
What Are the Benefits of Mission and Vision Statements?
Mission and vision statements chart a path for pursuing consistent quality and values (i.e., the things that will keep your core clients loyal over the years). A mission statement provides a guidepost for your employees, helping them to prioritize efforts, especially in times of crisis or indecision. A mission statement even gives them a way to promote your organization, including to future employees. A mission statement also becomes part of your branding and advertising, offering a quick, clear message for social media and other platforms. Therefore, it’s crucial to be precise in creating a message so that it isn’t vulnerable to interpretation. To craft an effective mission statement, you must view it as a living reference and not merely as a dusty printout on a cubicle wall.
Vision statements provide a common goal for all organization members and stakeholders. They supply a strategic framework for management and inspire employees, guiding them toward ethical operational decisions. Along with mission statements, vision statements also arm employees with a communication tool for reaching stakeholders outside the organization. But mission and vision statements aren’t just for the cafeteria and the boardroom — consider sharing them with clients and potential clients on social media, on packaging, on company swag, and elsewhere.
Should Mission and Vision Statements Ever Change?
Opinions vary widely on whether you should ever change mission or vision statements. Because both of these statements define an organization’s purpose, goals, culture, ethics, and decision-making framework, some experts say they should never change — they believe that although goals may change as you achieve them, mission and vision statements (if written properly) should remain the same. Other sources suggest that a mission statement should cover a limited time (two to 10 years), but that a vision statement, capturing the values of an organization, should remain the same. Still, others feel that a vision statement should change because, ideally, a company should ultimately achieve its long-term goals. Of course, if your organization undergoes radical changes, you will, undoubtedly, want to update either or both statements.
What Needs to Be in a Mission Statement?
A mission statement should include a description of what your organization does, who your clients are, how you fulfill the company’s purpose, and what that purpose is. Ideally, in 30 seconds or less, your readers should understand what the organization offers customers, clients, employees, managers, owners, and potentially even the community and the planet. The statement should also communicate how the company achieves this.
When crafting a mission statement, consider focusing on one or two key functions that can define the organization for employees, external stakeholders, and the public. A mission statement must be as short as possible while still being memorable and lucid in communicating your organization’s purpose. Some experts advise creating a two to six-word tagline, along with mission statements that are longer than 15 words. You may have a longer version for internal use and a shorter, customer-facing version. You may also have bullet points for each area of focus.
Once you’ve created a draft, ask yourself if it could apply to any business or non-profit or if it successfully captures your organization’s uniqueness. Define the essence of your organization and what makes it distinctive.
Buzzwords and Jargon to Cut from Your Mission and Vision Statements
Anybody can throw a lofty sentiment into a statement and then forget about it, or speak in obscure technical terms. Avoid these pitfalls and communicate your organization’s uniqueness directly and clearly. Eliminate phrases such as the following from your copy, and focus on concrete descriptions and aspirations:
- World class
- Superior customer service
- Be the best possible
- To maximize investor returns
- Highly valued
Look for other bloated, generic words and phrases that you can delete from your message.
How Do You Create an Effective Mission Statement?
Depending on the nature of your organization, you may start researching and drafting a mission statement on your own or with a small group of team members. Remember that if you begin on your own, the development process should not continue in isolation. You’ll get the best result if you both include at least a few stakeholders in the drafting and review process and get buy-in from all those concerned. Here are steps for creating an effective mission statement:
Consider reviewing mission statements from organizations similar to yours to see what you like and what approaches are relevant for you.
Sit down and write or brainstorm as a group. Make a list of keywords and phrases that describe your organization. Or, you can do the following:
- Write down your organization’s main purpose and function as well as its unique strengths. What is it that we do? What do we create? Why does it matter? How does it make a difference?
- List by type your organization’s main clients, or target buyer personas , internal or external. Detail what good the organization provides for each type of client.
- Describe how the organization treats employees, but only if you intend to pursue respectful and unique treatment.
- Describe the returns and advantages for business owners or non-profit managers and directors. What do you want to gain from the organization? Profits? A happy, productive workforce?
List these characteristics in order of importance to your organization.
Use these characteristics to create a short paragraph of no more than five or six sentences.
Get feedback on this paragraph, not only from employees and other internal stakeholders, but from suppliers, clients, and customers. Will your employees support this statement? Do outsiders believe it accurately reflects your organization?
Consolidate your paragraphs into one concise statement. Although the ideal mission statement is 20 or fewer words, keep in mind that a longer message (anywhere from 50 to 250 words) is perfectly acceptable as long as it is impactful. Remember that you can always make it shorter and punchier at some point in the future.
Share the final product with everyone. Post it on the wall in the lobby. Tweet it. Add it to your webpage. Consider all the ways you can publish your new mission statement.
As one final step, consider noting every place that your mission statement is published. That way, if you have to update your message, you can disseminate it everywhere simultaneously and include an explanation as to why.
What to Include in a Vision Statement?
Vision statements should be short (usually no longer than two sentences), memorable, aspirational, and compelling. The average length ranges from 10 to 15 words (a vision statement of 30 words would be considered long). Aim for fewer than 20 words, and then see if you can pare down the statement even further.
A vision statement should describe your organization’s unique aspirations and should, therefore, be precise. It should also align with your values. Because a vision statement depicts the broad, long-term vision, it should present optimistic, but realistic expectations — that is, ones that your employees can reasonably work with. Above all, the values that you convey must be relatable for your employees, directors, investors, and customers. Here’s what to include in a vision statement:
- Focus on the Future: Describe your aspirations for how the organization should look and feel in the future and what it should accomplish.
- Specify a Clear Vision: Provide direction that’s clear and focused enough to shape decision making. Make the statement concise and easy to read and remember. Some sources suggest focusing on one objective. If you must elaborate, do it in an additional document.
- Make the Scope Broad: At the same time, a vision should be general enough to encompass changing possibilities.
- Make It Achievable: A vision shouldn’t be so abstract and lofty as to never be attainable.
- Make It Inspiring: Members of your organization and outside stakeholders should be inspired to extend themselves and organization resources in order to achieve a greater goal.
- Find Something Stable: Your vision statement should define a goal that has a reasonable expectation of success despite economic, technological, or other shifts.
- Pinpoint a Date: Specify the future date by which the company should have achieved the goal.
- Include Relevant Goals and Values: Ensure that the statement applies to current and foreseeable efforts and challenges.
What Makes Your Organization Unique? Define what differentiates your company from all other organizations and why that quality is crucial to both internal stakeholders and clients.
How Do You Create a Compelling Vision Statement?
Just as you might collaborate to create a mission statement, consider working as a group to research and draft a vision statement. And, ask your internal and external stakeholders to review the draft statement before you commit to a final version. Here are the steps to creating a compelling vision statement:
Write down your organization’s main purpose and function. Convey how you help clients or customers.
List keywords and phrases that describe your vision for your organization.
Describe what is unique about your organization’s approach to its primary purpose.
Send your draft out for review.
Publish the final version.
Vision Statement Template
Are you holding back from drafting a vision statement? This template gives you a sentence format, so you can simply add the words that best sum up your vision for your organization. But don’t write just one — use the template to write several iterations until you hone in on the words and ideas that work best.
Download Vision Statement Template
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- Table of Contents
- Troubleshooting Guide
- A Model for Getting Started
- Justice Action Toolkit
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- Training Curriculum - Order Now
- Community Check Box Evaluation System
- Build Your Toolbox
- Facilitation of Community Processes
- Community Health Assessment and Planning
- Section 2. Proclaiming Your Dream: Developing Vision and Mission Statements
Chapter 8 Sections
- Section 1. An Overview of Strategic Planning or "VMOSA" (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans)
- Section 3. Creating Objectives
- Section 4. Developing Successful Strategies: Planning to Win
- Section 5. Developing an Action Plan
- Section 6. Obtaining Feedback from Constituents: What Changes are Important and Feasible?
- Section 7. Identifying Action Steps in Bringing About Community and System Change
- Main Section
Creating your organization's vision and mission statements are the first two steps in the VMOSA action planning process. Developing a vision and mission statement is crucial to the success of community initiatives. These statements explain your group's aspirations in a concise manner, help your organization focus on what is really important, and provide a basis for developing other aspects of your strategic plan. This section provides a guide for developing and implementing your organization's vision and mission statements.
What is a vision statement?
Your vision is your dream. It's what your organization believes are the ideal conditions for your community; that is, how things would look if the issue important to you were completely, perfectly addressed. It might be a world without war, or a community in which all people are treated as equals, regardless of gender or racial background.
Whatever your organization's dream is, it may be well articulated by one or more vision statements , which are short phrases or sentences that convey your community's hopes for the future. By developing a vision statement or statements, your organization clarifies the beliefs and governing principles of your organization, first for yourselves, and then for the greater community.
There are certain characteristics that most vision statements have in common. In general, vision statements should be:
- Understood and shared by members of the community
- Broad enough to include a diverse variety of local perspectives
- Inspiring and uplifting to everyone involved in your effort
- Easy to communicate - for example, they are generally short enough to fit on a T-shirt
Here are some examples of vision statements that meet the above criteria:
- A community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential.
- CALCASA envisions a world free from sexual violence.
- A future where tobacco is a thing of the past. ( Truth Initiative )
- A world without Alzheimer’s Disease. ( Alzheimer’s Association )
- The United States is a humane community in which all animals are treated with respect and kindness. ( ASPCA )
- A world where everyone has a decent place to live. ( Habitat for Humanity )
What is a mission statement?
The next step of the action planning process is to ground your vision in practical terms. This is where developing a mission statement comes in. An organization's mission statement describes what the group is going to do and why it's going to do that. An example is "Promoting care and caring at the end of life through coalitions and advocacy."
Mission statements are similar to vision statements, in that they, too, look at the big picture. However, they're more concrete, and they are definitely more "action-oriented" than vision statements. Your vision statement should inspire people to dream; your mission statement should inspire them to action.
The mission statement might refer to a problem, such as an inadequate housing, or a goal, such as providing universal access to health care. And, while they don't go into a lot of detail, they hint - very broadly - at how your organization might fix these problems or reach these goals. Some general guiding principles about mission statements are that they are:
- Concise . While not as short as vision statements, mission statements generally still get their point across in one sentence.
- Outcome-oriented . Mission statements explain the fundamental outcomes your organization is working to achieve.
- Inclusive . While mission statements do make statements about your group's key goals, it's very important that they do so very broadly. Good mission statements are not limiting in the strategies or sectors of the community that may become involved in the project.
The following examples should help you understand what we mean by effective mission statements.
- Promoting community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources. (Community Tool Box)
- The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault ( CALCASA ) provides leadership, vision and resources to rape crisis centers, individuals and other entities committed to ending sexual violence.
- Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. ( Alzheimer’s Association )
- The mission of the ASPCA , as stated by Henry Bergh in 1866, is "to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States”.
- Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
Why should you create vision and mission statements?
Why is it important that your organization develops vision and mission statements like those above? First of all, these statements can help your organization focus on what is really important. Although your organization knows what you are trying to do to improve your community, it's easy to lose sight of this when dealing with day-to-day organizational hassles. Your vision and mission statements remind members what is important.
Second, your vision and mission statements give other individuals and organizations a snapshot view of what your group is and what it wants to accomplish. When your vision and mission statements are easily visible (for example, if they are on the letterhead of your stationery), people learn about your organization without having to work hard for the information. Then, those with common interests can take the time necessary to learn more. This efficiency is very helpful when you are recruiting other people and organizations to join your effort.
Finally, vision and mission statements focus members on their common purpose . Not only do the statements themselves serve as a constant reminder of what is important to your organization, the process of developing them allows people to see the organization as "theirs”. Creating these statements builds motivation as members will believe in something more completely if they had a hand in developing it.
Having a clear and compelling vision statement has other advantages, such as:
- Drawing people to common work
- Giving hope for a better future
- Inspiring community members to realize their dreams through positive, effective action
- Providing a basis for developing the other aspects of your action planning process: your mission, objectives, strategies, and action plans
Having a clear and compelling mission statement also has more advantages, such as:
- Converting the broad dreams of your vision into more specific, action-oriented terms
- Explaining your goals to interested parties in a clear and concise manner
- Enhancing your organization's image as being competent and professional, thus reassuring funding sources that their investment was (or would be!) a smart choice
How do you create vision and mission statements?
Now having a better understanding of vision and mission statements, your organization has the tools to develop your unique statements. If your group has already developed vision and mission statements, you might wish to look at them in light of the criteria we discussed above. If members of your organization feel your current statements could be improved, this process can be easily used to modify them. Let’s begin.
Learn what is important to people in your community
As developing your vision and mission statements is the first step in creating your action plan, it is especially important that these first steps are well grounded in community beliefs and values. Awareness of the important issues in your community is critical for the development of a strong, effective, and enduring action group.
Therefore, one of the first steps you should take when developing the vision and mission of your organization is to define the issue(s) that matter most to people in your community. How do you go about doing so?
There are many different ways you can gather this information, including:
Conducting "public forums" or "listening sessions" with members of the community to gather ideas, thoughts, and opinions about how they would like to see the community transformed.
In public forums or listening sessions, people gather from throughout the community to talk about what is important to them. These meetings are usually led by facilitators, who guide a discussion of what people perceive to be the community's strengths and problems, and what people wish the community was like. Someone typically records these meetings, and a transcript of what is said provides a basis for subsequent planning.
Holding focus groups with the people interested in addressing the issue(s), including community leaders, people most affected by the issues, businesses, church leaders, teachers, etc.
Focus groups are similar to public forums and listening sessions, but they are smaller and more intimate. Generally speaking, they are comprised of small groups of people with similar backgrounds, so they will feel comfortable talking openly about what concerns them. For example, the group members are generally about the same age, are of the same ethnic group, or have another common identity and/or experience. Focus groups function like public forums, and also use facilitators and recorders to focus and document discussion.
Your organization may hold focus groups with several different groups of people to get the most holistic view of the issue at hand. For example, if your organization is involved in child health, you might have one focus group with health care providers, another with parents or children, and still another with teachers. Once you have a rough mission statement, you might again hold a focus group for feedback.
Obtaining interviews with people in leadership and service positions, including such individuals as local politicians, school administrators, hospital and social service agency staff, about what problems or needs they believe exist in your community.
Often, these individuals will have both facts and experiences to back up their perspectives. If so, this data can be used later if and when you apply for funding, or when you request community support to address the issues. More information on this topic can be found in Chapter 3, Section 12: Conducting Interviews.
It’s important to realize that these different ways of gathering information from your community are not mutually exclusive. In fact, if you have the resources, it is recommended to do all of the above: to have some time for the community at large to respond, then spend more time in focus groups with the people you believe might contribute greatly to (or be most affected by) some of the issues brought up in the public forum. And finally, some one-on-one time with community leaders can strengthen your knowledge and purpose; remember, there are community members who have been wrestling with the same issues you are now looking at for a long time. Take advantage of that experience so you don’t waste time on something that’s already been done.
Decide what to ask
No matter if you are talking to one person or a crowd, your purpose is the same: to learn what matters in your community. Here's a list of questions you might use to focus your discussions with community members. These questions may be used for individual interviews, focus groups, public forums, or in any other way you choose to gather information.
- What is your dream/vision for our community?
- What would you like to see change?
- What kind of community (or program, policy, school, neighborhood, etc.) do we want to create?
- What do you see as the community's (or school's, neighborhood's, etc.) major issues or problems?
- What do you see as the community's major strengths and assets?
- What do you think should be the purpose of this organization (or effort)?
- Why should these issues be addressed?
- What would success look like?
When your organization is gathering input, the facilitator should encourage everyone to share their most idealistic, hopeful, and positive ideas. Don't worry right now about what's practical and what's not - this can be narrowed down later. Encourage everyone to be bold and participate, and to remember that you are trying to articulate a vision of a better community.
Decide on the general focus of your organization
Once members of your organization have heard what the community has to say, it's time to decide the general focus of your organization or initiative. First of all, what topic is most important to your organization and your community? For example, will you tackle urban development or public health issues? Racism or economic opportunity?
A second question to answer is at what level will your organization work. Will your organization begin only in one school, or in one neighborhood, or in your city? Or will your initiative's focus be broader, working on a state, national, or even international level?
These are questions for which there are no easy answers. Your organization will need to consider lessons learned from the community and decide through thoughtful discussion the best direction for your organization. We suggest you open this discussion up to everyone in your organization to obtain the best results.
However, if your organization is receiving grant money or major funding from a particular agency, the grant maker may specify what the general goal of your group should be. For example, if your group accepts a grant to reduce child hunger, at least part of its mission will be devoted to this purpose. Even in these circumstances, however, the community should determine the ultimate vision and mission that will best advance what matters to local people.
Develop your vision and mission statements
Now that your organization has a clearer understanding of what the group will do and why, you are in a prime position to develop the statements that will capture your ideas.
As you are looking at potential statements, remember to keep them broad and enduring. Vision and mission statements wide in scope allow for a sense of continuity with a community's history, traditions, and broad purposes. Additionally, vision and mission statements that are built to last will guide efforts both today and tomorrow.
First of all, remind members of your organization that it often takes several vision statements to fully capture the dreams of those involved in a community improvement effort. You don't need - or even want - just one "perfect" phrase. Encourage people to suggest all of their ideas and write them down, possibly on poster paper at the front of the room, so people can be further inspired by the ideas of others. As you do this, remind the group of:
- What you have learned from your discussions with community members
- What your organization has decided will be your focus
- What you learned about vision statements at the beginning of this section
If you have a hard time getting started, you might wish to check out some of the vision statements in this section's Examples. You might ask yourself how well they meet the above suggestions.
After you have brainstormed a list of suggestions, your group can discuss critically the different ideas. Oftentimes, some of the vision statements will jump out at you - someone will suggest it, and people will just instantly think, "That's it!"
If it’s more complicated than that, you should ask yourselves the following questions:
- Will it draw people to common work?
- Does it give hope for a better future?
- Will it inspire community members to realize their dreams through positive, effective action?
- Does it provide a basis for developing the other aspects of your action planning process?
A final caution: try not to get caught up in having a certain number of vision statements for your organization. Whether you ultimately end up with two vision statements or ten, what is most important is that the statements together provide a holistic view of your organization’s vision.
The process of writing your mission statement is similar to developing your vision statements. The same brainstorming process can help you develop possibilities for your mission statement. Remember, though, that unlike vision statements, you will want to develop a single mission statement for your work. After brainstorming possible statements, you will want to answer questions for each one:
- Does it describe what your organization will do and why it will do it?
- Is it concise (one sentence)?
- Is it outcome oriented?
- Is it inclusive of the goals and people who may become involved in the organization?
Together, your organization can decide on a statement that best meets these criteria.
Obtain consensus on your vision and mission statements
Once members of your organization have developed your vision and mission statements, your next step might be to learn what other community members think of them before you use the statements regularly.
To do this, you could talk to the same community leaders or focus group members you spoke to originally. First of all, this can help you ensure that they don't find the statements offensive in any way. For example, an initiative that wants to include young men more fully in its teen pregnancy prevention project might have "Young men in Asheville are the best informed" as one of their vision statements. But taken out of context, some people community members might believe this statement means young men are given better information or education than young women, thus offending another group of people.
Second, you will want to ensure that community members agree that the statements together capture the spirit of what they believe and desire. Your organization might find it has omitted something very important by mistake.
Decide how you will use your vision and mission statements
Finally, it's important to remember that while developing the statements is a huge step for your organization worth celebration, there is more work to be done. Next, you have to decide how to use these statements. Otherwise, all of your hard work would lead to nothing. The point is to get the message across.
There are many ways in which your organization may choose to spread its vision and mission statements. To name just a few examples, you might:
- Add them to your letterhead or stationery
- Use them on your website
- Give away T-shirts, or bookmarks, or other small gifts with them
- Add them to your press kit
- Use them when you give interviews
- Display them on the cover of your annual report
...and so on. Again, this is a step that will use all of your creativity.
Developing effective vision and mission statements are two of the most important tasks your organization will tackle because almost everything else you do is affected by these statements. We hope that this section has allowed you to feel more confident in your group's ability to create successful and inspiring vision and mission statements. Remember, think broadly and boldly! Good luck!
Coalition Vision, Mission, and Goals defines SWOT Analysis, coalition vision and mission statements, and goals and strategies.
Barry, B. (1982). Strategic planning workbook for non-profit organizations . St. Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
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American Planning Association 1776 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20036 (202) 872-0611 FAX: (202) 872-0643
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Article • 10 min read
Mission Statements and Vision Statements
Unleashing the power of purpose.
By the Mind Tools Content Team
Imagine going to work each day, full of purpose and conviction. You strongly believe in your organization's values, and you are passionately committed to its mission.
Because you understand the good that your organization does in the world, you love what you do. You're happy to come into the office, and you put your heart and soul into your work, because you know it matters.
People can be genuinely inspired if their organization has a compelling vision and a clear, worthwhile mission; and these can be powerfully expressed in well-crafted mission and vision statements.
Click here to view a transcript of this video.
These statements can be highly motivating when they are expressed clearly and with intent, and when they are communicated effectively to everyone in your organization. They also express your organization's purpose to customers, suppliers and the media, on whom they can have the same effect.
In this article, we'll explore how to create motivating mission and vision statements.
Mission and Vision Statements Explained
These statements are the words leaders use to explain an organization's purpose and direction. When expressed clearly and concisely, they can motivate your team, or the organization as a whole, with an inspiring vision of the future.
The two statements do distinctly different jobs:
Mission statements define your organization's purpose and its primary objectives. They are set in the present tense, and explain why you exist as a business, both to members of your organization and to people outside it. Mission statements tend to be short, clear and powerful.
Vision statements also define your organization's purpose, but they focus on its goals and aspirations. These statements are designed to be uplifting and inspiring. They're also timeless: even if the organization changes its strategy, the vision will often stay the same.
Usually, people write these statements for an organization, or for an organizational unit or a team. You can also create statements to define the goals of long-term projects or initiatives.
Some examples of Mission Statements are shown below:
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (pharmaceuticals) – "To discover, develop, and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases."
- Walgreens (drugstores) – "Champion the health and well-being of every community in America."
- Nike (sportswear) – "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world."
- The Dow Chemical Company (chemicals) – "Become the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable Materials Science Company in the world.
- Amazon (online retail) – "Our vision is to be earth's most customer-centric company."
Some examples of Vision Statements are shown below:
- PepsiCo (retail) – "Be the global leader in convenient foods and beverages by winning with purpose."
- Amnesty International (nonprofit) – "Our vision is a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments."
- Ikea (retail) – "To create a better everyday life for the many people – for customers, but also for our co-workers and the people who work at our suppliers."
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) (nonprofit) – "The vision of the ASPCA is that the United States is a humane community in which all animals are treated with respect and kindness."
These examples are concise, focused and inspiring. Do everything you can to make your statements similarly succinct – long, rambling statements can be difficult to decipher and lead to confusion.
How to Create a Mission Statement
To develop your mission statement, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Develop Your Winning Idea
First, identify your organization's "winning idea," or unique selling proposition (USP). This is the idea or approach that makes your organization stand out from its competitors, and it is the reason that customers come to you and not your competitors.
Developing a "winning idea" is a core goal of business strategy , and it can take a lot of effort to find, shape, test, and refine. To start, see our articles on USP Analysis , SWOT Analysis and Core Competence Analysis .
Step 2: Clarify Your Goal
Next, make a short list of the most important measures of success for your winning idea.
For instance, if it is to create cutting-edge products in a particular industry, how will you know when you've accomplished this goal? If your idea is to provide excellent customer service, what key performance indicator will let you know that your customers are truly satisfied?
You don't have to include exact figures here, but it's important to have a general idea of what success looks like, so that you know when you've achieved it.
Combine your winning idea and success measures into a general, but measurable goal . Refine the words until you have a concise statement that expresses your ideas, measures and a desired result.
Keep this statement in the present tense, and make sure it is short, simple , clear, and free of jargon . Yes, the language needs to be inspiring, but don't include adjectives just so it "sounds better."
Produce store Farm Fresh Produce's winning idea is to "provide farm freshness." The owner identifies two key measures of the company's success: freshness and customer satisfaction. She creates the following mission statement, which combines the winning idea and her measures of success:
"To be the number one produce store in Main Town by selling the highest quality, freshest farm produce directly from farm to customer, with high customer satisfaction."
Carl has just become the leader of a new team. The team will focus on one key project: streamlining the organization's internal databases, so that the entire system runs smoothly and without problems.
With this in mind, Carl creates a mission statement to guide his team's understanding of their purpose:
"Our team's goal is to streamline our organization's database management system within 12 months. We will develop a new system that is easy to use and reduces the frequency of user errors."
How to Create a Vision Statement
Step 1: find the human value in your work.
First, identify your organization's mission. Then uncover the real, human value in that mission. For example, how does your organization improve people's lives? How do you make the world a better place?
Our articles on working with purpose and The Triple Bottom Line include tips that you can use to find the deeper meaning in what you do.
Step 2: Distill Into Values
Next, identify what you, your customers and other stakeholders value the most about how your organization will achieve this mission. Distill these into values that your organization has, or should have.
Some examples of values include excellence, integrity, teamwork, originality, equality, honesty, freedom, service, and strength.
If you have a hard time identifying your organization's values, talk to your colleagues and team members. What values do they think the organization stands for, or that it should stand for?
Step 3: Combine Your Mission and Values
Combine your mission and values, and polish your words until you have an inspiring statement that will energize people, inside and outside your organization.
It should be broad and timeless, and it should explain why the people in your organization do what they do.
The owner of Farm Fresh Produce examines what she, her customers and her employees value about her mission.
The four most important values that she identifies are freshness, healthiness, tastiness, and the "local-ness" of the produce. Here's the vision statement that she creates and shares with employees, customers and farmers alike:
"We encourage the families of Main Town to live happier and healthier lives by providing the freshest, tastiest, and most nutritious local produce from local farms to their table."
Carl looks at the values that are key to achieving his team's goal, and considers their mission statement. He identifies several important values, such as challenge, dependability and teamwork. He then creates this statement that combines his team's mission and values:
"We will challenge our skills and abilities, and create a database system that's strong, dependable and intuitive, allowing our colleagues to work quickly and effortlessly."
Mission and vision statements are concise, inspiring statements that clearly communicate the direction and values of an organization.
These statements can powerfully explain your intentions, and they can motivate your team or organization to realize an inspiring vision of the future.
When writing them, make sure that you understand your organization's USP, or "winning idea." You'll also need to clarify your organization's values, and distill them into statements that are concise, engaging and uplifting.
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Great article, as usual... some examples don't hold up to the standard maybe. PepsiCo "Be the global leader in convenient foods and beverages by winning with purpose." for example; Being a global leader is really PepsiCo's own economic aim and strategy. Why should I care about it as a customer? Be the most loved brand in my home, maybe, but global leadership does not inspire me as per wording. Also, what does "winning with purpose" mean? What is this purpose? If we look at Simon Sineks Just Cause as a guide, and the feature "benefit to others" alone... many vision statements could be rewritten to serve rather than gain. 😊
Great information on Mission and Vision Statements. In starting a new business it is important to have clarity in what one is working toward in the future. The examples given were also nice to see from large companies to smaller companies.✨
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The Beginner’s Guide to Vision and Mission Statements
Running a successful business involves careful planning and focus. Part of the process includes setting goals and determining a clear-cut purpose.
Two elements critical in defining your business objectives are your vision statement and mission statement. These documents state and summarize your short-term and long-term goals, which is also why the lines get blurry with them.
Each statement serves a different purpose: a mission statement describes what a company wants to do now ; a vision statement outlines what it wants to do in the future .
Let’s dive deeper into vision and mission statements to understand why they’re crucial for your business and discuss how you can create these documents for your own business.
What Are Vision and Mission Statements?
Before decoding the similarities and differences, let’s define each of them further.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is a brief, clear, and definitive description of a company‘s aspirations and the kind of impact it aims to create. Think of it as a guiding beacon that tells people within the organization what the business wants to accomplish and what will happen once they achieve that vision.
It helps facilitate internal decision-making and determines the intended direction of the organization. You can also use it to describe the future of the business while simultaneously emphasizing its overall purpose.
To put things into perspective, a vision statement tells you what you want to become and then gives you a sense of direction to achieve it.
- What are your hopes and dreams and goals for your business?
- Are there any problems your business can solve for the greater good?
- What kind of change are you trying to bring?
As you may have realized, vision statements are future-oriented. But because it has a direct and transcendent nature, they are written in the present tense. It tries to encapsulate the strategic goals for a company and informs everyone what the company values most.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement explains an organization’s core objectives, values, and aims concisely and descriptively. It’s a declaration that defines the daily activities of an organization and how every person working within it will contribute to that overall mission.
The primary purpose of a mission statement is to drive a company toward its goals. In addition to outlining what you do and the core components of your business, it tries to clarify objectives and how you can fulfill them. The idea here is to motivate and inspire a team to consistently advance toward a common goal.
Consider the following questions when writing your mission statement:
- What do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- How do you serve them?
A mission statement is affirmative, so they typically start with “We provide…” or “We offer…“. You can also use it as a performance standard to help employees make better decisions.
The Basics of Vision and Mission Statements
This section will detail the basics—differences, similarities, and other nuances—of vision and mission statements. Knowing this will help you better understand what goes into making a good vision and mission statement.
Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement
Vision and mission statements are essential documents with different objectives.
A vision statement outlines what you want to become and how you want to impact society and its people. Whereas a mission statement is more present-focused and summarizes the primary goals, purposes, and values of an organization.
Put simply, a mission statement speaks to today, while a vision statement speaks to the future. Let’s take a look at Google‘s vision and mission statements to highlight this difference.
The company‘s vision statement is: “ To provide access to the world’s information in one click. ”
Despite being short and to the point, Google effectively puts forward its ambitious long-term aspiration to provide people with the world’s information as quickly and efficiently as possible (“in one click”).
On the other hand, Google’s mission statement is: “ To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. ”
This statement aims to guide the company’s daily operations and inform everyone that Google’s primary job is to organize information to make it accessible and useful. Notice how it also complements the vision statement.
As you can see, while the vision statement is aspirational and more focused on the “why,” the mission statement is actionable and outlines the “what” and “how.” That’s how the documents differ from each other.
Companies need vision and mission statements to define their purpose and stand out from their competitors. But before they develop them, they must know and be able to articulate their long-term and short-term objectives.
Both documents work together to keep a company focused on meeting pre-established goals and play a significant role in strategic planning.
Every component of a vision and mission statement encourages involved parties to take productive efforts to boost efficiency while simultaneously aligning them to work toward achieving the same purpose. They also help attract the right talent, create an appropriate work culture, and increase productivity levels to achieve success.
On the contrary, a poorly written vision and mission statement present various challenges and setbacks. It’s because they lack detailed insights that are otherwise necessary to guide employees during operations and decision-making.
Drafting A Vision Statement
As a vision statement is your end goal, you must clearly lay out your vision of the future you’re trying to build. It’s also why it makes sense to write your vision statement before your mission statement.
To write a vision statement, start by revisiting the different components of your business or marketing plan, including your elevator pitch, business goals, company values, SWOT analysis, business story, and brand identity.
Once you have it all together, distill everything into one sentence to create the vision statement and show the world what your company is working toward.
Fitting everything in a single line is going to be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. A good way to start is by answering the following questions:
- What is the ultimate purpose of your business?
- What kind of problems do you want to solve through your product or service?
- How does your business aim to make the world better?
- How would you describe your hopes and dreams for the business’s impact?
- What change do you inspire to bring?
Next, work on distilling your answers down to the essentials. Remember, use clear language and concrete wording—similar to an elevator pitch.
The thought process is similar when writing a mission statement.
Drafting A Mission Statement
A mission statement is the core of all your operations that lists everything you must do to reach your vision—which you established in your vision statement. When done right, this document can become the driving force for your company, giving your team a common goal.
Essentially, your mission statement should define your plan of attack, drawing the route to your destination. To do this, consider the following:
- What conditions must be met to make your vision a reality?
- What do you have to do in your day-to-day to fulfill those conditions?
- Who do you serve, and how do you do it?
- How does your business help to make your vision real for your customers?
If you find it difficult to answer these questions, go through your target audience and buyer personas, buying cycle, and so on. Once that’s done, condense all your answers down into a single strong statement.
Again, cut out any jargon and use simple, meaningful language. The mission statement should be one to three sentences maximum, and never more than 100 words. Ideally, the shorter the better.
3 Tools to Improve Your Vision and Mission Statement
Since vision and mission statements answer crucial questions—why, how, and what—these documents are also a crucial component of your business plan. Read on as we discuss some of the best tools you can use to improve these documents.
Market and Vision Statement Templates
The internet is filled with vision and mission worksheet templates. All you need to do is answer various questions to discover details related to your business and then structure the answers to create the documents.
Take a look at Smartsheet’s mission statement template, for instance. It has two columns that explain what you need to consider and then an empty column to jot down answers—pretty straightforward, making it easier for you to create an effective one.
Vision and Mission Statement Generators
Vision and mission statement generators are tools designed to provide you with the necessary assistance to write good statements. However, most of them can’t produce truly useful statements because they don’t have the relevant information.
HoneyBook generator is one such tool.
While they cannot capture the true essence of how unique your vision and mission statement should be, they aren’t entirely useless. You can use these generators to get a better understanding of the tone and wording of these documents. Plus, use it for inspiration to get out of your head and see some new ideas that may spark something for you.
Business Plan Services
Remember how we mentioned a vision statement and mission statement are a vital part of a business plan? This is why online business plan services like LivePlan and Bizplan offer services to write these documents.
These services are similar to business plan software. The only difference is that they offer business and legal specialists who can help you gain a better understanding of the more complex aspects of your business, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to draft your vision and mission statements.
5 Tricks for Writing a Good Vision and Mission Statement
Let’s take a look at a few vision and mission statements best practices to help you create amazing ones for your business.
Clearly Define Your Future
Set up a meeting with your team and ask everyone to define the perfect state of being for your organization—why the company exists and its purpose. Write it down and find words that truly articulate your future goals and plans.
Remain in Sync
Ensure your vision and mission statements are in sync and connected by using words that resonate with your employees as well as third parties. It’s best to write your vision statement first and then use it as a guide when writing your mission statement.
Make Them Memorable and Achievable
Your vision and mission should be a stretch but always within reach. Draft them in a way that makes them to the point and easy to remember. Try to think of something that gives the reader goosebumps and encourages them to take immediate action without making them sound impossible or fanciful.
Align Them With Your Goals
Although this goes without saying, make sure you write statements that align with your goals. Whenever you change your goals and objectives, revisit your vision and mission and make the necessary changes. You may find yourself tweaking your mission statement more often than your vision statement.
Think About the Future
Imagining your future five or ten years down the line is particularly important for your vision statement. But knowing your end goal will also help you draft a better mission statement to outline what steps you should take immediately to get there.
We highly recommend conducting a gap analysis to compare current performance to desired performance. The end result will give you a better understanding of how or where your organization is struggling—and where there are opportunities to grow.
What to Do Next
After writing your vision and mission statement, your next step should focus on developing specific objectives to help you achieve your mission and vision. These objectives include specific measurable results, fulfilling which will help you accomplish your broad goals.
Create an action plan or a business plan that details how you plan on implementing the strategies and what actionable steps you’ll take to bring about changes in all the relevant sectors.
You can read these Quicksprout blogs to get a better understanding of how to go about things:
- How to Write a Business Plan for Your Startup
- How To Create Your Personal Brand Vision
Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.
4.8 Developing Your Personal Mission and Vision
- Determine what mission and vision mean for you.
- Develop some guidelines for developing your mission and vision.
Mission and vision are concepts that can be applied to you, personally, well beyond their broader relevance to the P-O-L-C framework. Personal mission and vision communicate the direction in which you are headed, as well as providing some explanation for why you are choosing one direction or set of objectives over others. Thinking about and writing down mission and vision statements for your life can help provide you with a compass as you work toward your own goals and objectives.
Your mission and vision reflect your personal and professional purpose and direction.
Shawn Harquail – Kayak Tour of Mangroves, Lucayan National Park. – CC BY-NC 2.0.
Your Mission and Vision
Note that the development of a personal mission and vision, and then a strategy for achieving them, are exactly the opposite of what most people follow. Most people do not plan further ahead than their next job or activity (if they plan their career at all). They take a job because it looks attractive, and then they see what they can do with it. We advocate looking as far into the future as you can and deciding where you want to end up and what steps will lead you there. In that way, your life and your career fit into some intelligent plan, and you are in control of your own life.
The first step in planning a career is obviously a long-term goal. Where do you want to end up, ultimately? Do you really want to be a CEO or president of the United States, now that you know what it costs to be either one? There are a couple basic parts to this process.
First, set out a bold vision—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great , describes this as a BHAG a big, hairy, audacious goal.
Five guiding criteria for good BHAGs is that they:
- Are set with understanding, not bravado.
- Fit squarely in the three circles of (a) what you are deeply passionate about (including your core values and purpose), (b) what drives your economic logic, and (c) what differentiates you (what you can be the best in the world at).
- Have a long time frame—10 to 30 years.
- Are clear, compelling, and easy to grasp.
- Directly reflect your core values and core purpose.
Second, sketch out your personal values, or “Guiding Philosophy”—a set of core values and principles like your own Declaration of Independence.
Once the vision is set, you have to develop some long-term goal (or goals), then intermediate-term goals, and so on. If you want to be President, what jobs will you have to take first to get there and when do you have to get these jobs? Where should you live? What training do you need? What political connections do you need? Then you have to set up an orderly plan for obtaining the connections and training that you need and getting into these steppingstone jobs.
Finally, you need to establish short-term goals to fit clearly into a coherent plan for your entire career. Your next job (if you are now a fairly young person) should be picked not only for its salary or for its opportunities for advancement but for its chances to provide you with the training and connections you need to reach your long-term goals. The job that is superficially attractive to you because it has a high salary, offers the opportunity for immediate advancement, or is located in a desirable place may be a mistake from the standpoint of your long-term career.
Former business school professor, entrepreneur (founder of www.quintcareers.com), and colleague Randall S. Hansen, PhD, has done a masterful job of assembling resources that aim to help your career, including an excellent five-step plan for creating personal mission statements. With his generous permission, he has allowed us to reproduce his five-step plan—adapted by us to encompass both mission and vision—in this section.
The Five-Step Plan
A large percentage of companies, including most of the Fortune 500, have corporate mission and vision statements (Quint Careers, 2008). Mission and vision statements are designed to provide direction and thrust to an organization, an enduring statement of purpose. A mission and vision statement act as an invisible hand that guides the people in the organization. A mission and vision statement explains the organization’s reason for being and answers the question, “What business are we in?”
A personal mission and vision statement is a bit different from a company mission statement, but the fundamental principles are the same. Writing a personal mission and vision statement offers the opportunity to establish what’s important and perhaps make a decision to stick to it before we even start a career. Or it enables us to chart a new course when we’re at a career crossroads. Steven Covey (in First Things First ) refers to developing a mission and vision statement as “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it (Covey, 1994).”
A personal mission and vision statement helps job seekers identify their core values and beliefs. Michael Goodman (in The Potato Chip Difference: How to Apply Leading Edge Marketing Strategies to Landing the Job You Want ) states that a personal mission statement is “an articulation of what you’re all about and what success looks like to you (Goodman, 2001).” A personal mission and vision statement also allows job seekers to identify companies that have similar values and beliefs and helps them better assess the costs and benefits of any new career opportunity.
The biggest problem most job seekers face is not in wanting to have a personal mission and vision statement but actually writing it. So, to help you get started on your personal mission and vision statement, here is a five-step mission/vision-building process. Take as much time on each step as you need, and remember to dig deeply to develop a mission and vision statement that is both authentic and honest. To help you better see the process, Professor Hansen included an example of one friend’s process in developing her mission and vision statements.
Sample Personal Mission Statement Development
Past success :
- developed new product features for stagnant product
- part of team that developed new positioning statement for product
- helped child’s school with fundraiser that was wildly successful
- increased turnout for the opening of a new local theater company
Themes: Successes all relate to creative problem solving and execution of a solution.
Core values :
- Hard working
- Problem solving
- Decision maker
Most important values:
Most important value:
Identify Contributions :
- the world in general: develop products and services that help people achieve what they want in life. To have a lasting effect on the way people live their lives.
- my family: to be a leader in terms of personal outlook, compassion for others, and maintaining an ethical code; to be a good mother and a loving wife; to leave the world a better place for my children and their children.
- my employer or future employers: to lead by example and demonstrate how innovative and problem-solving products can be both successful in terms of solving a problem and successful in terms of profitability and revenue generation for the organization.
- my friends: to always have a hand held out for my friends; for them to know they can always come to me with any problem.
- my community: to use my talents in such a way as to give back to my community.
Identify Goals :
Short term: To continue my career with a progressive employer that allows me to use my skills, talent, and values to achieve success for the firm.
Long term: To develop other outlets for my talents and develop a longer-term plan for diversifying my life and achieving both professional and personal success.
Mission Statement :
To live life completely, honestly, and compassionately, with a healthy dose of realism mixed with the imagination and dreams that all things are possible if one sets their mind to finding an answer.
Vision Statement :
To be the CEO of a firm that I start, that provides educational exercise experiences to K–6 schools. My company will improve children’s health and fitness, and create a lasting positive impact on their lives, and that of their children.
Step 1: Identify Past Successes. Spend some time identifying four or five examples where you have had personal success in recent years. These successes could be at work, in your community, or at home. Write them down. Try to identify whether there is a common theme—or themes—to these examples. Write them down.
Step 2: Identify Core Values. Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. The list can be as long as you need. Once your list is complete, see whether you can narrow your values to five or six most important values. Finally, see whether you can choose the one value that is most important to you. We’ve added “Generating Ideas for Your Mission and Vision” to help jog your memory and brainstorm about what you do well and really like to do.
Step 3: Identify Contributions. Make a list of the ways you could make a difference. In an ideal situation, how could you contribute best to:
- the world in general
- your family
- your employer or future employers
- your friends
- your community
Generating Ideas for Your Mission and Vision
A useful mission and vision statement should include two pieces: what you wish to accomplish and contribute and who you want to be, the character strengths and qualities you wish to develop. While this sounds simple, those pieces of information are not always obvious. Try these tools for generating valuable information about yourself.
- Describe your ideal day. This is not about being practical. It is designed to include as many sides of you and your enthusiasms as possible: creative, competent, artistic, introverted, extraverted, athletic, playful, nurturing, contemplative, and so on.
- Imagine yourself 132 years old and surrounded by your descendants or those descendants of your friends. You are in a warm and relaxed atmosphere (such as around a fireplace). What would you say to them about what is important in life? This exercise is designed to access the values and principles that guide your life.
- Imagine that it is your 70th birthday (or another milestone in your life). You have been asked by national print media to write a press release about your achievements. Consider what you would want your family, friends, coworkers in your profession and in your community to say about you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives? How do you want to be remembered? This is designed to inventory your actions and accomplishments in all areas of your life.
Review your notes for these three exercises. With those responses in mind, reflect on questions 1, 2, and 3 above. Then write a rough draft (a page of any length) of your mission statement. Remember that it should describe what you want to do and who you want to be. This is not a job description. Carry it with you, post copies in visible places at home and work, and revise and evaluate. Be patient with yourself. The process is as important as the outcome. After a few weeks, write another draft. Ask yourself whether your statement was based on proven principles that you believe in, if you feel direction, motivation, and inspiration when you read it. Over time, reviewing and evaluating will keep you abreast of your own development.
Step 4: Identify Goals. Spend some time thinking about your priorities in life and the goals you have for yourself. Make a list of your personal goals, perhaps in the short term (up to three years) and the long term (beyond three years).
Step 5: Write Mission and Vision Statements. On the basis of the first four steps and a better understanding of yourself, begin writing your personal mission and vision statements.
Final thoughts: A personal mission and vision statement is, of course, personal. But if you want to see whether you have been honest in developing your personal mission and vision statement, we suggest sharing the results of this process with one or more people who are close to you. Ask for their feedback. Finally, remember that mission and vision statements are not meant to be written once and blasted into stone. You should set aside some time annually to review your career, job, goals, and mission and vision statements—and make adjustments as necessary.
In this section, you learned how to think of mission and vision in terms of your personal circumstances, whether it is your career or other aspects of your life. Just as you might do in developing an organization’s vision statement, you were encouraged to think of a big, hairy audacious goal as a starting point. You also learned a five-step process for developing a personal vision statement.
- How does a personal mission and vision statement differ from one created for an organization?
- What time period should a personal mission and vision statement cover?
- What are the five steps for creating a personal mission and vision statement?
- What type of goals should you start thinking about in creating a personal mission and vision?
- How are your strengths and weaknesses relevant to mission and vision?
- What stakeholders seem relevant to your personal mission and vision?
Covey, S. R. (1994). First Things First . New York: Simon & Schuster.
Goodman, M. (2001). The Potato Chip Difference . New York: Dialogue Press.
Quint Careers, retrieved October 29, 2008, from http://www.quintcareers.com/creating_personal_mission_statements.html . Reproduced and adapted with written permission from Randall S. Hansen. The content of this work is his, and any errors or omissions are our responsibility.
Principles of Management Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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How to write a vision statement: Steps and examples
The vision statement is designed to inspire employees, compel investors, and engage the imaginations of your customers. It paints a picture of your company's future and the impact you want your business to have on the world.
It takes work and creativity to write an inspiring vision statement. Here, we'll break down the elements of a great vision statement, guide you through the process, and walk through a few examples of excellent vision statements and explain what makes them great.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is your company’s guiding beacon. It zooms out to give perspective on the overarching reasons for your company's mission. Rather than articulating the specifics of your business operations, the vision statement describes how your company seeks to impact and improve the world around it.
Vision statement vs. mission statement
While both statements help define your company's character and personality, there are some key differences between a vision statement and a mission statement.
The mission statement describes what your company does in the present. It's comprised of three parts: what you do, how you do it, and why you do it.
A vision statement outlines the company's long-term goals and aspirations for the future in terms of its long-term growth and impact on the world. Your mission defines what your organization does and what you stand for, while your vision statement speaks to your goals and ideals for the future.
Characteristics of a great vision statement
Vision statements are like snowflakes—each one is unique to its company in length, form, structure, and scope. Your vision statement should reflect your company's personality. However, there are a few traits that all great vision statements share. No matter how unique a statement is in terms of size, shape, or structure, a good vision statement should be:
The purpose of a vision statement is to inspire employees, investors, and customers to believe in your company's mission. Great vision statements are aspirational and ambitious. They convey a sense of passion for the ideal future toward which the company is working.
Though your vision needs to be ambitious in order to be inspiring, it shouldn't be so far out of reach that it feels impossible. You want to choose something that your company will have to strive for, but a completely unattainable goal isn't a vision—it's a fantasy.
A vision statement connects your company mission to your goals, but it isn’t a goal in and of itself. If your vision statement feels too finite or specifically achievable, try to zoom out and broaden the scope of your vision.
Don’t try to cram every detail of your vision into your vision statement—be strategic in selecting the ideas that feel the most relevant and compelling to your stakeholders . You might dream of someday having offices in every major city in the world, but your vision statement should focus on aspirations that speak to your company's mission and purpose.
Vision statement writing tips
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you start writing your vision statement:
Collaborate. The vision statement should reflect the character of your entire company, and there's no better way to accomplish this than to write the statement alongside key members of your team. Gather leaders from across the organization to participate in vision statement brainstorms, and run drafts by these same people to get buy-in on your final vision statement.
Write first, edit later. Don't try to write a succinct, well-crafted vision statement right out of the gate. Put everything you think of down on paper, no matter how small. You may not see the value in a particular idea when it crosses your mind, but if you write it down anyway, it may spark better ideas later on.
Keep your own vision statement separate. Many people have personal vision statements that reflect their individual goals, and if you're a business owner, our own vision statement may overlap strongly with the vision of your company. It's important to keep your personal aspirations and your company's vision separate, so that your company's vision statement is something that your entire company can relate to and feel represented by.
Avoid buzzwords and jargon. Using "industry-speak" makes a brand feel aloof and inaccessible, even to people within the industry. Plain language is always more powerful than jargon, so if you find yourself falling back on buzzwords, isolate the phrase in question and picture a friend or family member asking, "What does this actually mean?" Write or record the explanation you would give to that person and use that language to replace the buzzwords in your vision statement.
Avoid ambiguity. Vision statements don't have to be concrete the way a mission statement should be, but you want to avoid using words that could potentially be interpreted in a way that changes the entire vision statement's meaning. You won't be there to clarify or offer context to everyone who reads your statement, so it needs to be able to stand on its own.
7 steps to write your company's vision statement
There's a lot more to crafting a great vision statement than just writing a few sentences. In order to create a statement that's truly aspirational and inspiring, you're going to need to do a little bit of work. Here's our seven-step process to write a great vision statement:
1. Identify important stakeholders
Your vision statement speaks on behalf of your entire company, so make a list of co-founders, fellow executives, and high-level employees who can help you craft and refine your statement so that it represents your organization as a whole. Getting buy-in from company leaders is also a smart strategic move—the more they believe in the vision statement, the better they'll model it in their daily work and communicate it to their own departments and teams.
Make a second list of stakeholders that represent your vision statement's audience. This list may consist of personas rather than actual people, and should include:
Different customer personas
Depending on your industry, this list may be longer or shorter; the main point is to write down a basic overview of the group of people you're writing for. If you're only thinking about your customers, your vision statement may not feel as relatable to employees or might not inspire potential funders to invest. Check your drafts against this list to make sure it feels applicable to all of your key stakeholders.
2. Start with a list of keywords
Ultimately, you're aiming to craft a few concise sentences—and the process of crafting those sentences will be a lot easier if you have a "word bank" of sorts to draw from as you write. Hold an open brainstorming session with your internal stakeholders to come up with a keyword list.
Make sure your keyword list is comprehensive by subdividing it into smaller categories and making sure you have a good list of keywords for each. At a minimum, you should collect keywords related to:
Your product or service
Your mission and values
Your company's goals and initiatives
Your company's long-term strategic plan
Adjectives that describe your company, product, teams, community, and ideal future (e.g. expert, innovative, affordable, inspiring)
Adverbs that describe the way in which your company operates (e.g. flexibly, sustainably, cooperatively, fearlessly)
Just like your list of stakeholders, the number and type of keyword lists you should generate will vary depending on your industry and company. The important thing is to create a document filled with keywords that you can draw from as your writing, if you get stuck trying to communicate an idea, or if you need to replace some jargon-y text.
3. Answer foundational company questions
In addition to your keywords document, take time during your brainstorm to answer the following questions:
What is our organization’s main purpose?
What are our company’s main strengths?
What are our company values?
Why does what we’re building matter?
How do we want to make a difference as a company?
What is our vision for our company culture ?
What are our most ambitious goals?
What impact do we want our company to have on the world?
What are our company wants? What about company needs?
If our company succeeded in everything it set out to do, how would the world be different?
4. Sort your answers by importance
By the time you're finished brainstorming, you should have a lot of stuff written down.Put all of this content aside for a few days, so that your mind is clear when you return for the next step: deciding what goes in your vision statement and what gets left on the cutting room floor.
Sit down with your vision statement tiger team and a highlighter and review everything you have written down. Highlight ideas and phrases that your group feels are the most important to your company, and cross out items that you're ready to eliminate from consideration (however, don't throw this content out entirely—everything you brainstormed can be helpful in creating other important documents, like your core values, roadmap, or business plan).
5. Write your company's vision out longform
At the end of step four, you'll have a smaller "word bank" of your most important phrases, ideas, keywords, and answers to foundational company questions. Your next step will be to organize these ideas into sentences that flow logically and are ordered according to your company's priorities.
Right now, don't worry about length—focus instead on communicating your vision in a way that makes sense, touches all of the key points you want to include, and feels relatable to your stakeholders and your audience. It's much easier to edit a long but comprehensive statement than it is to bulk up a statement that's missing pieces.
6. Step back and evaluate
Before you go through the work of editing your vision down to size, take a step back and look at your vision paragraph from afar. This is another point where you may benefit from setting it aside for a few days and returning with fresh eyes.
As you review your vision paragraph, check for the following things:
Is it ambitious enough? Your paragraph should feel aspirational, not like a finite goal to be accomplished.
Is it too ambitious? Make sure you strike a balance between idealistic and unrealistic.
Does it accurately reflect your organization? Run your paragraph by internal stakeholders who weren’t involved in creating it, and as for their feedback on what may be missing, what parts may be unnecessary, or how certain ideas may be phrased more effectively.
Does it make sense? Have friends and family members read your paragraph to confirm that it makes sense to the average reader.
7. Write your final vision statement
Once you've adjusted your vision paragraph and made the changes you wanted to make, it's time to edit your vision paragraph down to a vision statement. In many cases, your paragraph may naturally shrink as you solicit and implement feedback from others, and you may even want to specifically ask for opinions on how your paragraph could be more concise.
Here are a few ways to shorten your vision paragraph:
Eliminate what's unnecessary. Now that you've stepped away from your paragraph a few times and gotten a few rounds of feedback, are there any phrases or ideas that don't feel as necessary as they did when you wrote it? Cut any parts that feel lackluster or less impactful than the rest of the paragraph.
Look for synonyms. Are there any areas where you used several words to say something that there's already a word for? For example, you might replace the phrase "give people the ability to," with "provide access."
Edit each concept individually. Chop your paragraph into sentences and chop your sentences into phrases. Pick up each small segment on its own and see if you can come up with a shorter way to phrase it. It helps if you evaluate the smaller segments out of order—hopping around or going backwards piece by piece will help you notice things that your brain smooths over when you're reading a full sentence.
When your vision statement is finished, bring it back around to your stakeholders to get final feedback and make any finishing tweaks.
Vision statement examples
There's no way around it—writing a vision statement is hard, especially if it's your first time doing so. Before you get started, or if you get stuck and need to spark some new ideas, take a look at some of these example vision statements for inspiration.
Note that not all companies have both a mission and a vision statement. Some companies combine the two into a single small paragraph that touches on tangible objectives (mission) as well as more long-reaching aspirations (vision). In some cases, companies won't label either statement, encasing them in a broader page dedicated to "purpose," "who we are," or another similar title.
Here, we've gathered mission and vision statements for a few companies that have publicly set both.
Mission: To act in the public interest, BBC serves all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.
Vision: To be the most creative company in the world.
Mission: IKEA offers a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low and accessible prices.
Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Mission: Southwest connects people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.
Vision: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
Mission: Hasbro creates the world's best play and entertainment experiences.
Vision: To make the world a better place for all children, fans and families.
Mission: To make things universally accessible and useful, Google organizes the world's information.
Vision: To significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.
Mission: To harness the next wave of innovation and solve customers’ toughest challenges, VMware uses disruptive technologies like edge computing, AI, blockchain, machine learning, Kubernetes, and more.
Vision: To build a sustainable, equitable and more secure future for all.
Use your vision statement to help you grow
A company's vision statement is a living document—it should adapt and change as your company achieves its business goals and sets new ones, grows in size, expands its offerings, and updates its mission. Revisit your vision statement once every year or so to make sure it still accurately reflects your company's ideal future; if not, adjust it!
But for now, enjoy the fact that your vision statement is written. Share it with your team, announce it to your customers, and use it to proudly guide your company forward.
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22 vision statem ...
22 vision statement examples to help you write your own.
When launching a startup, founders typically have an idea of what they want to achieve — a vision of what success will look like. During the strategic planning process, it’s important to put this vision into concrete terms. Not only does a vision statement clarify your thoughts, but it helps employees and stakeholders understand what the business has set out to accomplish. No matter what the business, a good mission and vision statement can inspire and motivate employees to make that vision a reality.
Whether it’s your first or fifth business, writing a compelling vision statement can be challenging. Below, we'll share how to write a vision statement — one that inspires your employees and positively impacts your business — and we'll look at a few vision statement examples to help you get started.
What is a vision statement?
A personal mission statement and personal vision statement can be used to guide our decision-making and help us stay focused to meet our long-term goals. Company statements are no different. A company vision statement is one of your most important business documents, along with your mission statement and core values. Although it’s easy to confuse the three, each one is unique and serves its own purpose.
Core values are the organization’s long-term beliefs and principles that guide employee behavior. A mission statement deals with “why” an organization exists, while a vision statement outlines “what” that existence will eventually look like. A mission statement has to do with what the organization is doing in the present, while a vision statement focuses on the future. Mission statement examples include L’Oreal’s “Offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety.” Conversely, Disney’s vision for itself is “to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”
Primarily intended for internal employees and shareholders, a vision statement describes what an organization aspires to be. It helps to think of a vision statement as part roadmap, part inspiration. By outlining a long-term vision, rather than just short-term goals, a vision statement helps give the organization shape and purpose.
Why it’s important to have a vision statement.
Despite the importance of a vision statement, many companies choose to operate without one. Some simply combine their mission and vision into one general document. Others do away with the idea altogether, thinking that corporate visions are vague statements that serve no actual purpose.
Furthermore, studies show that highly aligned organizations grow revenue 58% faster, and are 72% more profitable than ones that are unaligned. If an organization doesn’t have a vision or a clear idea of what it wants, it will greatly limit its opportunities and have a difficult time inspiring employees to stay committed.
How to write a vision statement.
Writing a vision statement may seem like a daunting task. It’s read by every employee and shareholder, and greatly impacts the success of the organization. And a vision statement takes time and thought. When done well, a vision statement can provide the encouragement your company needs to achieve its goals. To streamline the process, keep the following steps in mind while crafting your vision statement:
1. Determine who will help write your vision statement.
When starting out, it’s likely you and your partners will be responsible for writing your company’s vision statement. Once you start hiring, you can ask managers and employees to contribute additional insights. Interviewing a range of individuals will help create a vision statement that integrates and speaks directly to the entire organization.
2. Project your goals for the future.
Imagine your company five or ten years down the line. The outcome you envision — your dream for the future, your success as a company — should be captured in the vision statement. Keep in mind that the statement should only include the vision, not an actual step-by-step plan for implementing solutions.
The following questions can help you clarify your vision:
- Where do we want the organization to go?
- What can we realistically achieve?
- What problem does the organization intend to solve?
- What are the changes we believe the organization can make for individuals? For the industry?
- How will things be different if the vision is realized?
- What phrases or keywords describe the type of organization and outcome we want?
3. Stick to the specifics.
A generic vision statement — one that sounds like it could apply to any company — will not be enough to motivate your team. Vision works best when it’s specific and describes an end goal only your organization can provide. Don’t be afraid to dream big. A lukewarm vision will only yield lukewarm results. So it’s important to be bold, and even risky, when writing your vision statement.
4. Keep it short and simple.
While it should be specific, a vision statement shouldn’t be overly detailed. It should be concise. Start by jotting down all of your ideas, and then pare those down to the essentials. Keeping just one or two key points helps create a clear vision that’s easy for everyone to focus on and fulfill. Stay away from technical terms and jargon, and use the present tense. Rather than trying to write something catchy, aim for clarity. A great vision statement works best when it’s simple, memorable, and inspirational.
Revisit your vision often as your company evolves.
A vision statement sets an organization’s sights on the future. However, once that future is reached, the vision needs to continue moving forward. Your vision statement is a living document, not a set of static sentences. It plays an important part in your overall strategic plan for a certain time frame. It should therefore be regularly updated to reflect your organization’s current purpose.
Constantly communicate your vision.
Once you have a vision statement that articulates your end goal, make sure it’s clearly communicated. A vision is more effective when your entire organization takes it to heart. Commit the proper resources and time toward realizing the vision you’ve set. This can mean investing in seminars and training or launching a new product. It can also include offering the lowest possible prices, entering new markets, or exploring other areas of opportunity. A good way to help everyone align with a company's vision statement is by inviting them into the process. Ask for employees’ input, and suggest ways to incorporate the vision into their work. Then, make sure to recognize or reward individuals for their standout contributions.
Vision statement examples.
Sometimes, seeing what works for notable companies is just the inspiration you need to create your own vision statement. Below are some inspiring vision statements from today’s top companies:
Concept-based vision statements.
Some vision statements are based on concepts of what the company hopes to be or achieve in the future. This can be a general statement focused on customers, or a position the company wants to hold within the industry. Below are a few examples of concept-based vision statements:
- BBC: “To be the most creative organization in the world”
- Disney: “To make people happy.”
- Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click”
- IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people”
- Instagram: “Capture and share the world’s moments”
- LinkedIn: "Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce”
- Microsoft: “To help people throughout the world realize their full potential”
- Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”
- Oxfam: “A just world without poverty”
- Shopify: “To make commerce better for everyone”
- Sony: "To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.”
- TED: “Spread ideas”
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”
- Uber: “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion”
- Whole Foods : “To nourish people and the planet.”
Quality-based vision statements.
Other common vision statements are focused on internal goals. These include the type of products and services the company hopes to provide as they grow. Quality-based vision statements can also relate to company culture and operations. The following are some examples from actual United States companies in different industries:
- Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
- Avon: “ To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service, and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.”
- Ben & Jerry’s: “Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way”
- Ford: “People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.”
- IBM: “To be the world’s most successful and important information technology company. Successful in helping our customers apply technology to solve their problems. Successful in introducing this extraordinary technology to new customers. Important because we will continue to be the basic resource of much of what is invested in this industry.”
- McDonald’s: “To move with velocity to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s serving more customers delicious food each day around the world.”
- Nordstrom: “To serve our customers better, to always be relevant in their lives, and to form lifelong relationships”
- Starbucks: “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”
- Warby Parker: “We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.”
- Zappos: “To provide the best customer service possible. Deliver 'WOW' through service”
Keep a clear vision.
Even if it’s just a few sentences, a vision statement provides a lot of value. Not only does it outline the company’s desired outcome, but it can communicate intentions and hopes for the future. The best part is that a vision statement changes with your organization. When a vision is reached or updated, it’s time to create a new vision statement. This encourages everyone toward greater goals, and opens your company to more possibilities.
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Writing a Powerful Mission and Vision Statement
What Is a Mission and Vision Statement? How Do the Two Differ?
Your mission statement lays the foundation for your business. It informs customers and employees about your purpose and conveys how you help others. Your vision statement should focus on where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and first impressions matter the most. You have to make it a great one. Keep your company’s mission, and vision statements simple. Avoid jargon or unnecessary words. Think about your long-term plan. Keep in mind that your business may evolve as your company grows. If you’re moving in a new direction, create a new vision statement that aligns with your current goals.
The idea is to keep your customers in the loop, so they connect with your brand. In this post, we’ll show you how to write compelling and powerful mission and vision statements to grow your business. We’ll go into the essential elements that make for a great statement and highlight some inspiring examples for you.
What’s the Difference Between a Mission and a Vision Statement?
A mission statement describes your goals and values. It’s typically a short statement that you can post on your company website that explains what you do, who you serve, and what makes your brand unique.
A vision statement explains your company’s goals for the future. It should say where you are today, what goals you have for the business, and how you plan to reach those milestones.
Before you start brainstorming ideas for your mission and vision statements, it may help to put together a vision board to put your ideas in one place. Focus on answering these questions:
- How does your business help solve your client’s problems?
- What’s your why? Define your purpose.
- What are the goals of your business?
How Do I Write a Powerful Mission Statement?
When you think of your business’s core values, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Use this as inspiration to create the perfect mission statement. Create a memorable, short statement that people can connect with. You don’t need to write a long paragraph to explain your purpose.
- Your brand’s mission statement should focus on your goals, your clients, and your employees.
- It should reflect your values, beliefs, and help guide your company in times of crisis.
- Be passionate about what you write and describe your long-term goals .
- Use present tense.
- Avoid unnecessary words.
- A powerful mission statement is clear, focused, and compelling.
How Do I Write a Powerful Vision Statement?
To write a compelling vision statement, create a map of your business goals, and decide what impact you want to have. Your statement should be clear and help customers understand what you do and where you want to be.
When writing your vision statement, think about where you’ll post it on the website. Are you going to feature it on the homepage or your about us page? Keep that in mind when crafting your statement, so you can focus on whom you’re writing it for – your audience.
If you’re struggling to highlight your strengths, ask your team for feedback. Planning a rebranding? Update your vision statement to meet your goals.
Great Examples of Powerful Mission and Vision Statements
Need some help creating your vision and mission statements? Here’s some inspiration to help you get started.
Mission statement: The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Vision statement: Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
Mission statement: Our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centered company. This is what unites Amazonians across teams and geographies as we are all striving to delight our customers and make their lives easier, one innovative product, service, and idea at a time.
Mission statement: Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.
Mission statement: To create economic opportunities so people have better lives.
Vision statement: To be the number one flexible talent solution in the world.
Mission statement: We make everyday life better, every day.
Compelling mission and vision statements should help motivate your employees and build trust with your clients. A vision statement outlines your goals so you and your team can stay on track. If you need help understanding the difference, your mission statement should focus on today, while your vision statement talks about the future. When you started your company, you had a mission in mind. Use that motivation to help you create memorable and powerful mission and vision statements for your business.
Similar to this one: Mission + Vision Statements in the Automotive Industry
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Difference Between Mission and Vision Statements: 25 Examples
- Written By Britt Skrabanek
- Updated: September 7, 2023
Definition of mission and vision statements: A mission statement focuses on today and what an organization does to achieve it. A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what an organization wants to ultimately become. Both are vital in directing goals.
Mission, vision, values. We’ve heard this trio rattled off countless times, rapid-fire like they’re one catchy phrase — when, in fact, they are three very distinct concepts for organizations.
The lines especially get blurred with mission and vision statements. But when it comes to the drive and direction of your company today and tomorrow, you don’t want to have trouble seeing when you’re behind the wheel. And the same rings true for your content marketing.
So, we’re breaking down the difference between a mission and vision statement — and rounding up stellar examples from top brands — to help you better understand and define your company’s essence with confidence.
What is the difference between a mission and vision statement?
The mission statement focuses on today and what the organization does. The vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what the organization wants to become. While companies commonly use mission and vision statements interchangeably, it’s important to have both. One doesn’t work without the other because having purpose and meaning are critical for any business.
What is a mission statement?
Your mission statement drives the company. It is what you do/the core of the business, and from it come the objectives and finally, what it takes to reach those objectives. It also shapes your company’s culture.
Mission statement questions look like:
- What do we do?
- Whom do we serve?
- How do we serve them?
This trickle-down effect of a mission statement confirms its value at any company. Just by its definition, you can quickly see how a solid mission motivates a team to advance toward a common goal because they started at the same place and they are working together to reach the same end goal.
On the other hand, a weak mission — or no mission at all — can have the opposite effect. Picture this: silos, miscommunications, flailing, feeling unmotivated. And, imagine what that does to a company. Scary, right?
For content marketers
Your content strategy supports the company’s mission statement — think of it as the HOW of what you do. This helps you stay on track, true to your brand, and true to your goals. Every piece of content you create should be rooted in your mission statement, from the tone of voice to the call to action .
What is a vision statement?
Your vision statement gives the company direction. It is the future of the business, which then provides the purpose.
The vision statement is about what you want to become. It’s aspirational.
Vision statement questions look like:
- What are our hopes and dreams?
- What problem are we solving for the greater good?
- Who and what are we inspiring to change?
The vision statement promotes growth, both internally and externally. A strong vision helps teams focus on what matters the most for their company. It also invites innovation. A purpose-driven company envisions success as a whole, because they know what success means for their company.
On the flip side, a lack of vision is a road to nowhere for a business. Imagine this: stagnation, outdated processes, moving without purpose, feeling uninspired. Can a company even survive without a clear vision? You know the answer to that one.
The content vision supports the company’s vision statement — this is the WHY of what you do. This helps you stay forward-thinking, true to your beliefs, and true to your purpose. Every piece of content you dream up should fly high with your vision statement, from the inception of an ebook to the lofty blog traffic milestone.
Brands that get it: 25 examples of mission and vision statements
So, what do great mission and vision statements look like? Here are 25 companies that get them right. And they have the customer loyalty to prove it.
Mission: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Vision: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
Why it works: What better word than “accelerate” in a mission to serve as the driving force behind what Tesla does. While boldly stating “best in the century” reflects loftier dreams in the vision.
Mission: We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
Vision: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Why it works: Amazon’s mission is cut-and-dry about what they offer to customers. The vision takes the offerings farther, saying their company will offer “anything” customers want.
Mission: We’re in business to save our home planet.
Vision: A love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet.
Why it works: Patagonia’s mission and vision statements show a deep commitment to improving lives and saving the planet through its products.
Mission: Spread ideas.
Vision: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.
Why it works: The TED mission to “spread ideas” is a simple demonstration of how they serve. The vision is all about impact, and how spreading ideas invokes change in the world.
Mission: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Vision: To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
Why it works: LinkedIn succinctly captures what they do (connect) and who they serve (the world’s professionals) in their mission. While the vision encompasses every working person in the world.
Mission: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Vision: To provide access to the world’s information in one click.
Why it works: Google may seem complex, but its mission clarifies that organization and accessibility are what they offer. Their vision statement is about improving accessibility in the future “in one click.”
Mission: We reimagine the way the world moves for the better.
Vision: Smarter transportation with fewer cars and greater access. Transportation that’s safer, cheaper, and more reliable; transportation that creates more job opportunities and higher incomes for drivers.
Why it works: Uber “transports,” so it is the perfect actionable verb for their mission. The vision dives deeper into how their transportation services exist for the greater good of everyone.
Mission: To create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, and we are focused on creating an end-to-end travel platform that will handle every part of your trip.
Vision: Belong everywhere.
Why it works: The Airbnb mission says, “we help you feel at home,” while encapsulating the company’s goals for the future. They explore a deeper sense of belonging in the vision, tapping into the universal human desire their company aims for.
Mission: Delight our customers, employees, and shareholders by relentlessly delivering the platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.
Vision: If it is smart and connected, it is best with Intel.
Why it works: Intel promises to deliver the most technologically advanced products in its mission. Their vision uses more boastful language, illustrating great confidence in the future of their solutions.
Mission: We build cars, symbols of Italian excellence the world over, and we do so to win on both road and track. Unique creations that fuel the Prancing Horse legend and generate a “World of Dreams and Emotions.”
Vision: Ferrari, Italian Excellence that makes the world dream.
Why it works: “We build to win” in Ferrari’s mission focuses on the strength and quality of their product. In this ambitious vision, their cars will reach the pinnacle of “Italian Excellence.”
Mission: Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs everywhere, making opportunities more inclusive for all.
Vision: Our vision is to radically shift the global economy toward independent entrepreneurial ventures.
Why it works: GoDaddy positions itself as the entrepreneur’s champion, making opportunity and success attainable for all.
Mission: To provide the best value to customers, grow a profitable business, develop and reward people, and encourage social responsibility.
Vision: Be the global leader in customer value.
Why it works: Caterpillar explains both their “how” and their “why” in their mission statement: By providing affordable and high-quality products to customers, they will continue to grow their business, recognize and reward employees, and make a positive impact on the environment. Their vision reaffirms their commitment to providing value.
Mission: To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America.
Vision: To be the most successful and respected car company in America.
Why it works: Toyota’s mission and vision statements demonstrate what they are known for: products and service. Even in a highly competitive industry, their vision states that they will become the best car company in the country.
Mission: We will devote our human resources and technology to create superior products and services, thereby contributing to a better global society.
Vision: To inspire the world with our innovative technologies, products, and design that enrich people’s lives and contribute to social prosperity by creating a new future.
Why it works: Samsung wants to improve people’s lives by creating exceptional and innovative products, which they make clear in both their mission and vision statements.
Mission: To empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.
Vision: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.
Why it works: Wikimedia’s mission motivates its team to move toward a common goal of empowerment and engagement. Their vision paints a future world where their company’s commitment makes a lasting impact.
Mission: To be the world’s favorite destination for discovering great value and unique selection.
Vision: Our vision for commerce is one that is enabled by people, powered by technology, and open to everyone.
Why it works: When you break eBay’s mission and vision statements down, you see that eBay’s mission uses “destination” to show their virtual company as a real place people come to. An ongoing focus on people and technology get into the “why” of their vision.
Mission: Offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Why it Works: The mission here focuses on the functionality of IKEA’s products and the affordability for their customers. In the vision, the IKEA team has a true sense of purpose in “creating a better everyday life.”
Mission: Shape the future of the internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.
Vision: Changing the way we work, live, play, and learn.
Why it works: Cisco decided on blended mission and vision statements. Language like “shape the future” is more vision-oriented, but the mission talks about the people they serve.
Mission: A company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.
Vision: Using our unlimited passion for technology, content, and services to deliver groundbreaking new excitement and entertainment, as only Sony can.
Why it works: Sony gives a customer-focused touch to its mission by using “your.” The “unlimited passion” and “groundbreaking entertainment” messaging in their vision demonstrate innovation.
Mission: The mission of Southwest Airlines is a dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Vision: To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
Why it works: Southwest Airlines tells us right up front that quality customer service is their mission. Their vision is highly aspirational across the board in saying they want to be “the most” of everything.
Mission: Our mission is to provide insightful solutions that drive value and success for our clients by allowing them to focus on their business.
Vision: Be the world’s authority on helping organizations focus on what matters.
Why it works: ADP puts its clients at the forefront of its mission and vision statements. After all, their clients’ success is what makes them successful.
Mission: Kaiser Permanente exists to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.
Vision: We are trusted partners in total health, collaborating with people to help them thrive and creating communities that are among the healthiest in the nation.
Why it works: Saying “exist” sounds more like a vision statement, but the rest of the mission says what Kaiser Permanente does. In the vision, “thrive” and “healthiest” are big words that show their impact.
Mission: The mission of Coinbase is to create an open financial system for the world.
Vision: Digital currency will bring about more innovation, efficiency, and equality of opportunity in the world by creating an open financial system.
Why it works: Coinbase didn’t sugarcoat what they do in their mission statement, did they? And, in the vision, their message speaks well to the change their company will bring one day.
Mission: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Vision: 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.
Why it works: Facebook’s mission is focused on the community their platform promises. Their vision talks about why community matters, interweaving how they will “bring the world closer together” from the mission.
Mission: Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet. We’re a purpose-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. Quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market.
Vision: Whole foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.
Why it works: This mission uses repetition throughout to reinforce the quality that Whole Foods is known for. Making everything “whole” in their vision binds their company to a set of beliefs that they complete people’s lives.
[bctt tweet=”So, what do great vision and mission statements look like? Here are 25 companies that get them right. And, they have the customer loyalty to prove it. #branding #contentmarketing” username=”ClearVoice”]
Mission statements for more top brands:
- Adidas — To be the best sports company in the world.
- CalArts — CalArts is a multidisciplinary community of artists. Our ongoing educational endeavor is grounded in openness, experimentation, critical engagement, and creative freedom. Through artistic practice, we transform ourselves, each other, and the world.
- Coca-Cola — To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit; to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions; to create value and make a difference.
- Dunkin’ Donuts — Everything we do is about you. From chefs who create exciting new flavors to crew members who know exactly how you want your drink—we prioritize what you need to get you on your way. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes, and your time. That’s what America runs on.
- Goodwill — Goodwill works to enhance people’s dignity and quality of life by strengthening their communities, eliminating their barriers to opportunity, and helping them reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.
- L’Oréal — L’Oréal has set itself the mission of offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety. By meeting the infinite diversity of beauty needs and desires all over the world.
- McDonald’s — Our mission is to make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone.
- The Met — The mission of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and stimulate appreciation for and advance knowledge of works of art that collectively represent the broadest spectrum of human achievement at the highest level of quality, all in the service of the public and in accordance with the highest professional standards.
- Microsoft — Our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.
- MIT — The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.
- NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) — NASA explores the unknown in air and space, innovates for the benefit of humanity, and inspires the world through discovery.
- Nike — Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
- Northwestern University — Northwestern is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community.
- Oprah Winfrey Network — OWN’s mission is to create multiple platforms for women, men, and their families with a purpose and a passion: to celebrate life, inspire and entertain, empower viewers around the world to live their best lives, and by doing so, lift the lives of those around them in ever-widening circles.
- Pepsi — Create more smiles with every sip and every bite.
- Shopify — Making commerce better for everyone.
- Starbucks — To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
- Target — To help all families discover the joy of everyday life.
- Walt Disney Company — The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.
Mission and vision statements: Know who you are and where you’re going
The mission statement focuses on today and what we do, and the vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what we want to become. Both are important to a company’s survival.
Call it the essence, beating heart, or the defining characteristic — whatever you call it, make sure your mission and vision statements are clearly defined and understood for the sake of your content and your company.
Get a content mission and a content vision statement down on paper. Share it with your team members. Then you can measure your future content efforts against the two. And although they are not slogans or taglines themselves , they should definitely help inform them and all your content.
Knowing who you are and where you’re going is the foundation of an organization’s success. So, who are you? And, where are you going?
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32 Mission and Vision Statement Examples That Will Inspire Your Buyers
Published: August 21, 2023
100 Mission Statement Examples & Templates
Mission statements from 100 companies and templates to create one for your business.
- 100 real examples
- 10 industries
- Instructions & guidelines
- 10 free templates
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Think about the brands you purchase from over and over. Why do you choose to buy products and or services from them even when cheaper options exist?
Well, there's a good reason for it — because of their values which are expressed in their mission statement. As consumers, we like to patronize businesses that have values we believe in.
Still, Loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand loyalty , like creating mission and vision statements, takes time. If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, use this table of contents to find precisely what you’re looking for to inspire the development of your company’s mission:
What is a mission statement?
Mission vs Vision Statements
Best Mission Statement Examples
Best Vision Statements Examples
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A mission statement is a simple statement about the goals, values, and objectives of an organization. It helps a company respond to change and make decisions that align with its vision.
This brief description helps customers, employees, and leadership understand the organization's top priorities.
As a company grows, it may reach its early goals, and they'll change. So, it's important to revise mission statements as needed to reflect the business's new culture as it achieves its goals and develops new targets.
What makes a good mission statement?
The best brands combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer (and employee) experience that you value as much as they do. A good mission statement will not only explain your brand’s purpose, but will also foster a connection with customers.
When your brand creates a genuine connection with customers and employees, they'll stay loyal to your company, thereby increasing your overall profitability.
Mission statements also help you stand out in the marketplace, differentiating your brand from the competition.
What are the 3 parts of a mission statement?
Your mission statement should clearly express what your brand does, how it does it, and why the brand does it. You can quickly sum this up in your mission statement by providing the following:
- Brand Purpose: What does your product or service do, or aim to offer and for whom?
- Brand Values: What does your company stand for? For example, are you environmentally conscious and provide a more sustainable solution to solve a problem? Values are what make your company unique.
- Brand Goals: What does your company accomplish for customers? Why should they purchase from you instead of other competitors?
With these three components, you can create a mission that is unique to your brand and resonates with potential customers. Next, we’ll guide you step by step on how to write a proper mission statement to build on as your company evolves.
How to Write a Mission Statement
- Explain your company’s product or service offering.
- Identify the company’s core values.
- Connect how your company's offering aligns with your values.
- Condense these statements into one.
- Make sure it’s clear, concise, and free of fluff.
1. Explain your company’s product or service offering.
You want prospects to understand what your company does in a literal sense. This means explaining your offering in basic, clear terms. Your explanation should answer the most basic questions like:
- Are you selling a product or service?
- Why would customers buy it?
- How does your offering solve for the customer?
Record your answers and focus on how your product or service brings value to your buyer personas , otherwise known as your target audience.
2. Identify the company’s core values.
Now, this is where you can start thinking bigger. You didn’t just make a product or service at random. Instead, you’re most likely motivated by a set of core values .
Core values are deeply ingrained principles that guide a company’s actions. Take HubSpot’s culture code, HEART , for example:
These are principles that not only company employees respect, but are principles that our customers appreciate as well. By identifying core values that hold meaning on personal and organizational levels, you’ll have an appealing set to add to your mission statement.
3. Connect how your company's offering aligns with your values.
So how can your company offering serve your core values? You need to draw a connection between the two in a way that makes sense to the public.
For example, if one of your core values centers on innovation, you want to frame your product or service as pushing boundaries and explaining how it helps customers innovate their lives or business practices. Essentially, you’re taking the literal benefit of the offering and expanding it to serve a higher purpose.
4. Condense these statements into one.
A mission statement can be as short as a single sentence, or as long as a paragraph, but it’s meant to be a short summary of your company’s purpose. You need to state the what, who, and why of your company:
- What: The company offering
- Who: Who you’re selling to
- Why: The core values you do it for
Once you have successfully conveyed your message, it’s time to refine and perfect your statement.
5. Make sure it’s clear, concise, and free of fluff.
Above all, your mission statement is a marketing asset that is meant to be clear, concise, and free of fluff. It should clearly outline the purpose of your company offering and show the common goals the company is working to achieve. You should also have other team members or advisors read the mission statement and make adjustments if needed according to their recommendations.
A vision statement is aspirational and expresses your brand’s plan or “vision” for the future and potential impact on the world. They often serve as a guide for a brand’s future goals and explain why customers and employees should stick around for the long haul.
What makes a good vision statement?
A good vision statement should be bold and ambitious. They’re meant to be inspirational, big-picture declarations of what your company strives to be in the future. They give customers a peek into your company’s trajectory and build customer loyalty by allowing them to align their support with your vision because they believe in the future of your brand as well.
What are the 3 parts of a vision statement?
Your company vision is meant to be inspirational while also aligning with the company’s mission. A vision statement should have the following characteristics:
- Aspirational and Ambitious: Have a lofty outlook for what you want your business to accomplish? Here’s the place to put it. Your vision statement should be aspirational and showcase how your business will grow in the future.
- Practical and Achievable: While your statement should be ambitious, it shouldn’t be impossible. Set a goal that is both challenging and practical.
- General: Your vision should be broad enough to encompass all of your brand’s overall goals. Think of it as umbrella for your mission statement and company objectives to nest under.
Both mission and vision statements are often combined into one comprehensive "mission statement" to define the organization's reason for existing and its outlook for internal and external audiences — like employees, partners, board members, consumers, and shareholders.
The difference between mission and vision statements lies in the purpose they serve.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
A mission statement clarifies what the company wants to achieve, who they want to support, and why they want to support them. On the other hand, a vision statement describes where the company wants a community, or the world, to be as a result of the company's services. Thus, a mission statement is a roadmap for the company's vision statement.
A mission statement is a literal quote stating what a brand or company is setting out to do. This lets the public know the product and service it offers, who it makes it for, and why it’s doing it. A vision statement is a brand looking toward the future and saying what it hopes to achieve through its mission statement. This is more conceptual, as it’s a glimpse into what the brand can become in the eyes of the consumer and the value it will bring in longevity.
In summary, the main differences between a mission statement and a vision statement are:
- Mission statements describe the current purpose a company serves. The company's function, target audience, and key offerings are elements that are often mentioned in a mission statement.
- Vision statements are a look into a company’s future or what its overarching vision is. The same elements from the mission statement can be included in a vision statement, but they'll be described in the future tense.
Now that we know what they are, let’s dive into some useful examples of each across different industries.
Mission and Vision Statement Template
Free Guide: 100 Mission Statement Templates & Examples
Need more examples to build your mission statement? Download our free overview of mission statements – complete with 100 templates and examples to help you develop a stand-out mission statement.
Create a mission statement with these useful templates , like this example below:
- Life Is Good: To spread the power of optimism.
- sweetgreen: Building healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
- Patagonia: Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, Use business to protect nature, Not bound by convention.
- American Express: Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.
- Warby Parker: To inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.
- InvisionApp: Transform the way people work together by helping them collaborate better. Faster. On everything. From anywhere.
- Honest Tea: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
- IKEA: To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them
- Nordstrom: Offering customers the very best service, selection, quality, and value.
- Cradles to Crayons: Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.
- Universal Health Services, Inc.: To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
- JetBlue: To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
- Workday: Our core values guide everything we do — Employees, Customer Service, Innovation, Integrity, Fun, Profitability.
- Lowe's: Together, deliver the right home improvement products, with the best service and value, across every channel and community we serve.
- Tesla: Accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.
- Invisible Children: Partners with local peacebuilders across central Africa to end violent conflict through locally-led solutions.
- TED: Spread ideas, foster community and create impact.
- Microsoft: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
- Disney: To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.
- Meta: Giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
- Vista Equity Partners: By providing technology expertise, operational guidance and capital for sustainable growth, we empower organizations across all industries to stay ahead in the digital economy.
- Dunkin': Everything we do is about you. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.
1. Life Is Good : To spread the power of optimism.
The Life is Good brand is about more than spreading optimism — although, with uplifting T-shirt slogans like "Seas The Day" and "Forecast: Mostly Sunny," it's hard not to crack a smile.
There are tons of T-shirt companies in the world, but Life is Good's mission sets itself apart with a mission statement that goes beyond fun clothing: to spread the power of optimism.
This mission is perhaps a little unexpected if you're not familiar with the company's public charity: How will a T-shirt company help spread optimism? Life is Good answers that question below the fold, where the mission is explained in more detail using a video and with links to the company’s community and the Life is Good Playmaker Project page . We really like how lofty yet specific this mission statement is — it's a hard-to-balance combination.
2. sweetgreen : Building healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Notice that sweetgreen's mission is positioned to align with your values — not just written as something the brand believes. We love the inclusive language used in its statement.
The language lets us know the company is all about connecting its growing network of farmers growing healthy, local ingredients with us — the customer — because we're the ones who want more locally grown, healthy food options.
The mission to connect people is what makes this statement so strong. And, that promise has gone beyond sweetgreen's website and walls of its food shops: The team has made strides in the communities where it's opened stores as well. Primarily, it offers education to young kids on healthy eating, fitness, sustainability, and where food comes from.
3. Patagonia : Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, Use business to protect nature, Not bound by convention.
Patagonia's mission statement spotlights the company’s commitment to help the environment and save the earth. The people behind the brand believe that among the most direct ways to limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them stay in use.
In the name of this cause, the company donates time, services, and at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of environmental groups worldwide.
If your company has a similar focus on growing your business and giving back, think about talking about both the benefit you bring to customers and the value you want to bring to a greater cause in your mission statement.
4. American Express : Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.
Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.
— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek)
The tweet above is from Simon Sinek , and it's one that we repeat here at HubSpot all the time. American Express sets itself apart from other credit card companies in its list of values, with an ode to excellent customer service, which is something it’s famous for.
We especially love the emphasis on teamwork and supporting employees so that the people inside the organization can be in the best position to support their customers.
5. Warby Parker : To inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.
In one sentence, the brand takes us to the root of why it was founded while also revealing its vision for a better future.
The longer-form version of the mission reads: "We're constantly asking ourselves how we can do more and make a greater impact—and that starts by reimagining everything that a company and industry can be. We want to demonstrate that a business can scale, be profitable, and do good in the world—without charging a premium for it. And we've learned that it takes creativity, empathy, and innovation to achieve that goal." This further shows how Warby Parker doesn't hold back on letting its unique personality shine through. Here, the mission statement's success all comes down to spot-on word choice.
6. InvisionApp : Transform the way people work together by helping them collaborate better. Faster. On everything. From anywhere.
We love the way this statement is emphasized by bringing it back to InVision’s customers — top brands like Google, Zillow, and Slack — and linking to those stories. This mission statement is brief, authentic, and business babble-free — which makes the folks at InvisionApp seem trustworthy and genuine.
7. Honest Tea : To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
Honest Tea's mission statement begins with a simple punch line connoting its tea is real, pure, and therefore not full of artificial chemicals. The brand is speaking to an audience that's tired of finding ingredients in its tea that can't be pronounced and has been searching for a tea that's exactly what it says it is.
Not only does Honest Tea have a punny name, but it also centers its mission around the name. For some time, the company even published a Mission Report each year in an effort to be "transparent about our business practices and live up to our mission to seek to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages."
8. IKEA : To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them
The folks at IKEA dream big. The vision-based mission statement could have been one of beautiful, affordable furniture, but instead, it's to make everyday life better for its customers. It's a partnership: IKEA finds deals all over the world and buys in bulk, then we choose the furniture and pick it up at a self-service warehouse.
"Our business idea supports this vision ... so [that] as many people as possible will be able to afford them," the brand states .
Using words like "as many people as possible" makes a huge company like IKEA much more accessible and appealing to customers.
9. Nordstrom : Offering customers the very best service, selection, quality, and value.
When it comes to customer commitment, few companies are as hyper-focused as Nordstrom is. Although clothing selection, quality, and value all have a place in the company's mission statement, it’s clear that it’s all about the customer: "Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible."
If you've ever shopped at a Nordstrom, you'll know the brand will uphold the high standard for customer service mentioned in its mission statement, as associates are always roaming the sales floors, asking customers whether they've been helped, and doing everything they can to make the shopping experience a memorable one.
10. Cradles to Crayons : Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.
Cradles to Crayons divided its mission and model into three sections that read like a game plan: The Need, The Mission, and The Model. The "rule of three" is a powerful rhetorical device called a tricolon that's usually used in speechwriting to help make an idea more memorable. A tricolon is a series of three parallel elements of roughly the same length — think "I came; I saw; I conquered."
11. Universal Health Services, Inc. : To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
A company thrives when it pleases its customers, its employees, its partners, and its investors — and Universal Health Services endeavors to do just that, according to its mission statement. As a healthcare service, it specifically strives to please its patients, physicians, purchasers, employees, and investors. We love the emphasis on each facet of the organization by capitalizing the font and making it red for easy skimming.
12. JetBlue : To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
JetBlue's committed to its founding mission through lovable marketing, charitable partnerships, and influential programs — and we love the approachable language used to describe these endeavors. For example, the brand writes how it "set out in 2000 to bring humanity back to the skies."
For those of us who want to learn more about any of its specific efforts, JetBlue offers details on the Soar With Reading program, its partnership with KaBOOM!, the JetBlue Foundation, environmental and social reporting, and so on. It breaks down all these initiatives really well with big headers, bullet points, pictures, and links to other web pages visitors can click to learn more. JetBlue also encourages visitors to volunteer or donate their TrueBlue points.
13. Workday : Our core values guide everything we do — Employees, Customer Service, Innovation, Integrity, Fun, Profitability.
Workday, a human resources (HR) task automation service, doesn't use its mission statement to highlight the features of its product or how it intends to help HR professionals improve in such-and-such a way.
Instead, the business takes a stance on values. There's a lot of great tech out there. But at Workday, it revolves around the people. We love how confident yet kind this mission statement is. It observes the state of its industry — which Workday believes lacks a human touch — and builds company values around it.
14. Lowe's : Together, deliver the right home improvement products, with the best service and value, across every channel and community we serve.
Sometimes the best way to communicate is direct. Lowe's mission statement hones in on the who, how, what, and why behind this powerful home improvement brand.
It's also a great lesson in how the words and phrases you choose show your audience the force behind your mission. This mission statement begins with the word "together." So, no matter what location, products, or channel, the top priority of its mission is that it happens as a team.
That focus on togetherness also creates a foundation for the volunteer, scholarship, and charitable work that this organization does.
15. Tesla : Accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.
A car company's punny use of the word "accelerating" is just one reason this mission statement sticks out. But Tesla makes this list because of how its mission statement describes the industry.
It may be a car company, but Tesla's primary interest isn't just automobiles — it's promoting sustainable energy. And, sustainable energy still has a "long road" ahead of it (pun intended) — hence the world's "transition" into this market.
Ultimately, a mission statement that can admit to the industry's immaturity is exactly what gets customers to root for it — and Tesla does that nicely.
16. Invisible Children : Partners with local peacebuilders across central Africa to end violent conflict through locally-led solutions.
Invisible Children is a non-profit that raises awareness around the violence affecting communities across Central Africa, and the company takes quite a confident tone in its mission.
The most valuable quality of this mission statement is that it has an end goal. Many companies' visions and missions are intentionally left open-ended so that the business might always be needed by the community. But Invisible Children wants to "end" violent conflict facing African families with local solutions. It's an admirable mission that all businesses — not just nonprofits — can learn from when motivating customers.
17. TED : Spread ideas, foster community and create impact.
We've all seen TED Talks online before. Well, the company happens to have one of the most concise mission statements out there.
TED, which stands for "Technology Education and Design," has a succinct mission statement that shines through in every Talk you've seen the company publish on the internet. That mission statement starts with "Spread ideas." Sometimes, the best way to get an audience to remember you is to zoom out as far as your business's vision can go. What do you really care about? TED has recorded some of the most famous presentations globally. Then, it hones in on what great ideas can do — foster community and create impact.
18. Microsoft : To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Microsoft is one of the most well-known technology companies in the world. It makes gadgets for work, play, and creative purposes on a worldwide scale, and its mission statement reflects that. Through its product offering and pricing, it can empower every person and organization.
19. Disney : To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.
Disney’s mission statement goes beyond providing ordinary entertainment. It intends to tell stories and drive creativity that inspires future generations through its work. This is an exceptional mission statement because it goes beyond giving consumers programs to watch, but ones that excite and change the way people see them and the world around them.
20. Meta : Giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is a major social media platform with a concise vision statement. It provides a platform to stay in touch with loved ones and potentially connect to people around the world.
21. Vista Equity Partners : By providing technology expertise, operational guidance and capital for sustainable growth, we empower organizations across all industries to stay ahead in the digital economy.
Some businesses sell a clear and easy-to-understand product or service. But many companies need to combine branding with product education. This means that some mission statements need to not only communicate how a brand does business but also make it easy to see what it's selling.
Vista Equity Partners is a leading technology brand that supports a wide range of people, technologies, and products. In its mission statement, it clarifies what its company offers and why. It does this using the terms its audience uses most often to describe how it can help.
22. Dunkin' : Everything we do is about you. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.
Dunkin’s mission goes beyond remaining a large coffee chain. Rather, the brand wants to be the consummate leader in the coffee and donut industry. It wants to become a place known for fun, food, and recreation.
Now that we’ve gone over successful mission statements, what does a good vision statement look like? Check out some of the following company vision statements — and get inspired to write one for your brand.
Vision Statement Example
“Our vision is to improve sustainable farming practices across the globe.” This vision statement is ambitious and broad enough to be an umbrella statement in line with a brand's mission.
1. Alzheimer's Association : A world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association conducts global research and gives quality care and support to people with dementia. This vision statement looks into the future where people won’t have to battle this now incurable disease. With the work that it's doing in the present, both employees and consumers can see how the organization achieves its vision by helping those in need.
2. Teach for America : One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
Teach for America creates a network of leaders to provide equal education opportunities to children in need. This organization’s day-to-day work includes helping marginalized students receive the proper education they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Its vision statement is what it hopes to see through its efforts — a nation where no child is left behind.
3. Creative Commons : Help others realize the full potential of the internet.
This nonprofit’s vision statement is broad. It helps overcome legal obstacles to share knowledge and creativity around the world. By working closely with major institutions, its vision is an innovative internet that isn’t barred by paywalls.
4. Chipotle : We believe that food has the power to change the world.
Delicious tacos, burritos, and bowls aren't the only things that Chipotle is passionate about. Many fast food brands differentiate with products. But Chipotle offers a belief instead. This idea fuels practices like using local and organic produce, using responsibly raised meat, and cutting greenhouse emissions. Chipotle’s vision statement makes it clear what inspires and drives the actions of this international brand.
5. Australia Department of Health : Better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now and for future generations.
This government department has a clear vision for its country. Through health policies, programs, and regulations, it has the means to improve the healthcare of Australian citizens.
6. LinkedIn : Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
LinkedIn is a professional networking service that gives people the opportunity to seek employment. Its vision statement intends to give employees of every level a chance to get the job they need.
7. Purely Elizabeth : We believe that food can heal.
Purely Elizabeth is a food brand selling granola, oatmeal, and cereal products. Its extended vision statement reads: "When you eat better, you feel better. It’s that simple. That's why we use superfoods with vibrant flavors and rich textures to create delicious foods to help you thrive on your wellness journey."
Food brands have a lot of competition, and this brand's broad and inspiring vision offers a chance to connect more deeply with customers. Its podcast, blog, and recipe resources offer useful tools and tips for anyone looking to heal their bodies with their food choices.
8. AllHere : Connecting All Families with the Right Support at the Right Time
Attendance is a big challenge for schools and families, especially with students in middle and high school. AllHere offers AI services like mobile messaging to overcome administrative and communication challenges. This helps students, parents, and teachers get the support they need for student success.
This vision statement emphasizes that this challenge is bigger than individual habits. It's an empowering vision of an educational system that works for everyone.
9. Southwest : To be the world's most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
Southwest Airlines is an international airline that strives to serve its flyers with a smile. Its vision statement is unique because it sees itself not just excelling in profit but outstanding customer service, too. Its vision is possible through its strategy and can lead its employees to be at the level they work toward.
10. Supergoop! : Change the way the world thinks about sunscreen.
For a vision statement to excite, but not overwhelm, it should be both broad and specific. Company mission statement examples like the one above from Supergoop! show that it may be tricky, but it's also possible to balance those two extremes.
This vision says that sunscreen is important AND that sunscreen is more than sunscreen. This simple statement helps the audience think more about what its products are and what they should expect from those products. It's about education, awareness, and quality. And this vision statement keeps the tone positive, bright, and direct.
Inspire Through Brand Values
Brand values play a much more significant role in customer loyalty than you think. Showing that your business understands its audience — and can appeal to them on an emotional level — could be the decision point for a customer’s next purchase. We hope you found some insight in this post that can help you brainstorm your inspiring vision and mission statements for your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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- Our Mission
Finding Your School’s Mission and Vision
A former principal explains how mission and vision statements differ and why creating them is crucial to a school’s success.
Most first-year or veteran principals who are newly assigned to their school eventually must affirm the school’s existing mission and vision statements or engage stakeholders in a process of revising them. Sometimes, those statements incorporate and reflect district-wide beliefs, values, ideals, and goals.
When I was a new principal, I struggled with mission and vision statements. I didn’t understand the difference or how to utilize them. Regardless of what I might have learned about them in my preparatory classes, I was overwhelmed by day-to-day challenges. So as a result, any of the existing statements developed by the previous administration and posted throughout the school meant little to me.
That changed, however, when the parent of one of our school’s students with a disability, Billy (not his real name), stumped me one day with this question: “Why does this school exist?” Her son had intense needs. I had spoken with her numerous times but now wondered what had prompted the question. As we talked about why our school existed and what we hoped to achieve—for her son and everyone else—our discussion suddenly helped both of us form a much more meaningful concept of mission and vision.
Our school’s mission (why we existed) was to teach.
Our vision, reflecting shared beliefs, values, and specific, purposeful goals, was the summation of desired outcomes we wanted, along with strategic plans to achieve them.
Billy’s mother eloquently stated, “I just want three things from this school. First, I want my son to learn the basic skills that he will need to get a job someday.” (As I listened, I was thinking to myself that I certainly wanted the same for my daughters.) “Two, I want him to develop good, appropriate social skills so that when he grows up and buys the house next to yours, you won’t want to move.” (I was really listening now.) “And third, I want him to learn to appreciate the finer things in life so that he doesn’t grow up to be a couch potato.” (Wow, she had clarified a vision for her son that any parent should want for their child.)
Missions and visions
The more I thought about it—then and since—the universal mission of every school is to teach. Academics, social skills, creative thinking, healthy living, good choices, and much more. We can embellish the concept of teaching with fancy words that signify academic achievement, physical growth, personal development, wisdom, virtues, transformations, etc., but it all boils down to this: The reason that schools exist is for teaching. Everyone is free to choose their own descriptive words of purpose, but I preferred succinct, easy-to-remember, and personalized wording. And Billy’s mom had helped me shape our mission and vision.
As I discussed the mission with my staff, we rallied around the ideal that our primary focus was to teach—academics, behaviors, social skills, and aspirations in ways that were most timely, appropriate, individualized, and effective for every child. I helped my staff reflect on their practice and question themselves—if what they were doing didn’t teach, why were they doing it?
My advice for principals—regardless of the wording of your mission statement—is to understand these two basic concepts:
- Your mission is why you exist.
- Your vision is how you accomplish goals.
Many vision and mission statements are closely related and often used interchangeably. When both are well conceived and meaningful, they can drive your school community’s focus. However, many are often not as effective as they could be.
At my school, once we agreed that our purpose was to teach (mission), we turned our attention to fulfilling the beliefs, values, and goals embedded in what Billy’s mom had asked for her son (vision). The three visionary targets remained the same, regardless of where each child started.
Academics became more individualized with rigor while teaching the concept of grit. The development of a schoolwide code of conduct (focused on quality work, respect, safety, and kindness) resulted in more effective, personalized ways of teaching social skills and positive behaviors. And so that no student would become a couch potato, we infused the arts and extracurricular activities into every aspect of school that we could think of, teaching and coaching their meaning and value.
I’m forever indebted to Billy’s mom. She helped me and my staff conceptualize, personalize, and solidify our thinking, define our “why” (mission), and teach to meet the needs of every student. Parents rallied together with me and my teachers around those three stated expectations (vision) from our school—so concise and clear that we have never forgotten them, and never will.
I hope every principal encounters someone like Billy’s mom. When you do, listen, collaborate closely, and learn. Together, you’ll develop the most meaningful awareness of why you do what you do.