By Mark T. Burke
Confused about Mission vs. Vision? These words are often used interchangeably within organizations. But that leads to confusion. A common phrase, “I’m on a mission” tells us something important about the distinction between Mission and Vision. Let’s explore.
Spend a few minutes on the Merriam-Webster site and you’ll find a variety of definitions for both words. Keep in mind though, we’re exploring the distinctions between these two words. I found the graphic above and it speaks to the important distinction. Notice that Vision is all about Ideas, Foresight, Concepts, Seeing and Direction. Mission involves Plans, Scales, Paths, Tools and Goals or Accomplishments. This graphic showcases well that Vision is an idea and Mission is the path to help you accomplish an idea.
If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, you probably know about MARS, the series on NatGeo. I believe this series does a great job of making the distinction between Vision and Mission clear.
Vision = Colonize Mars
Mission = Build rockets that can land and take off again, Build systems to support life, Gather tons of money and support, Train experts, Break the laws of physics, etc. etc.
Vision is the DREAM, Mission is what we do to achieve that DREAM (Vision).
The relationship between the two as well as the distinction, helps organizations create clear internal and external facing documentation of both. And, as we aim to ensure we have a powerful Vision and a clear Mission, understanding the two clarifies the development process.
If you have any questions about Vision and Mission or you’re ready to explore your organization’s development and application of both, use the Contact tab above to send me a message.