How does your company define Mission, Vision, and Values?

September 27, 2017

Many companies use the words Mission, Vision and Values as part of their strategic planning. If these words aren’t clearly defined, it can lead to employee confusion. As a Gazelles International Certified Coach, I use the terminology and associated definitions found in Verne Harnish’s book, Scaling Up, which differ somewhat from the norm. 

Mission: We prefer the term Purpose, which speaks to the difference your company is making in the world. It’s your “Why do I exist?” statement. Mission is more of a military term, which generally has more narrowly defined parameters and desired outcomes as well as a shorter duration than a company’s Purpose.

Vision: When we use the term Vision, we are referring to our One Page Strategic Plan. It covers where you want to be in 10 – 30 years (what mountain are you climbing?); where you want to be in 3 – 5 years (a basecamp on the mountain); what you need to accomplish this year, this quarter, this month, and this week in order to get there; how success is going to be measured; and who is accountable to deliver it. It also covers your Core Ideology (Values and Purpose), Brand Promise, Core Competencies, Inherent Weaknesses, Trends, etc. And the One Page Strategic Plan is written in language all employees understand.

Values: Our terminology and definition do not differ much when it comes to Values. We believe core values are the soul of the organization – they are the rules you follow that keep you from being swept off the mountain.

That said, if you prefer your terminology, stick with it. Just make sure everyone in your company understands what it means and use the terminology consistently. However, if you’d like to discuss how to better define your path forward in a way everyone in your organization can understand and follow, give me a call.