Vision Statement
"A business is not defined by its name,
statutes, or articles of incorporation. It
is defined by the business mission. Only
a clear definition of the mission and
purpose of the organization makes
possible clear and realistic business
—Peter Drucker
Vision Statement
• A vision statement should answer the
basic question, “What do we want to
• A clear vision provides the foundation
for developing a comprehensive
mission statement.
Vision Statement
• Many organizations have both a
vision and mission statement, but
the vision statement should be
established first and foremost.
A Good Vision Statement
• short – two sentences at an absolute
• specific to your business and describe
a unique outcome that only you can
• Do not use words that are open to
A Good Vision Statement
• Keep it simple enough for people both
inside and outside your organization to
• It should be ambitious enough to be
exciting but not too ambitious that it
seems unachievable.
• It needs to align to the Values that you
want your people to exhibit as they
perform their work.
Examples of a Vision Statement
• General Motors’ vision is to be the
world leader in transportation
products and related services.
(Author comment: Good statement)
Examples of a Vision Statement
The vision of First Reliance Bank is to be
recognized as the largest and most profitable
bank in South Carolina.
(Author comment: This is a very small new
bank headquartered in Florence, South
Carolina, so this goal is not achievable in
five years; the statement is too futuristic)
Examples of a Vision Statement
• PepsiCo’s responsibility is to continually
improve all aspects of the world in which we
operate—environment, social, economic—
creating a better tomorrow than today.
(Author comment: Statement is too
vague; it should reveal beverage and food
Examples of a Vision Statement
• Royal Caribbean’s vision is to empower
and enable our employees to deliver the
best vacation experience for our guests,
thereby generating superior returns for
our shareholders and enhancing the wellbeing of our communities.
(Author comment: Statement is good
but could end after the word “guests”)
Examples of a Vision Statement
Samsonite’s vision is to provide innovative
solutions for the traveling world.
(Author comment: Statement needs to be
more specific, perhaps mention luggage;
statement as is could refer to air carriers or
cruise lines, which is not good)
Examples of a Vision Statement
Dell’s vision is to create a company culture
where environmental excellence is second
(Author comment: Statement is too vague;
it should reveal computer business in
some manner; the word environmental is
generally used to refer to natural
environment so is unclear in its use here)
• An enduring statement of purpose that
distinguishes one organization from other
similar enterprises.
• The mission statement is a declaration of
an organization’s “reason for being.” It
answers the pivotal question “What is our
• Sometimes called a creed statement , a
statement of purpose, a statement of
philosophy, a statement of beliefs, a statement
of business principles, or a statement “defining
our business,”
• a mission statement reveals what an
organization wants to be and whom it wants to
A business mission is the foundation for
priorities, strategies, plans, and work
assignments. It is the starting point for the
design of managerial jobs and, above all, for the
design of managerial structures. Nothing may
seem simpler or more obvious than to know
what a company’s business is. A steel mill
makes steel, a railroad runs trains to carry
freight and passengers, an insurance company
underwrites fire risks, and a bank lends money.
Literatures about Mission Statement
• Rarick and Vitton found that firms with a formalized
mission statement have twice the average return
on shareholders’ equity than those firms without a
formalized mission statement have
• Bart and Baetz found a positive relationship
between mission statements and organizational
• BusinessWeek reports that firms using mission
statements have a 30 percent higher return on
certain financial measures than those without such
Benefits of a vision and mission statements
King and Cleland recommend that organizations carefully
develop a written mission statement in order to reap the
following benefits:
1. To ensure unanimity of purpose within the organization
2. To provide a basis, or standard, for allocating
organizational resources
3. To establish a general tone or organizational climate
4. To serve as a focal point for individuals to identify with
the organization’s purpose and direction, and to deter
those who cannot from participating further in the
organization’s activities
Benefits of a vision and mission statements
5. To facilitate the translation of objectives into a
work structure involving the assignment
of tasks to responsible elements within the
6. To specify organizational purposes and then to
translate these purposes into objectives
in such a way that cost, time, and performance
parameters can be assessed and controlled.
Developing a vision and mission statement
• Select several articles about these statements
and ask all managers to read these as
background information.
• Ask managers themselves to prepare a vision
and mission statement for the organization.
Developing a vision and mission statement
• A facilitator, or committee of top managers,
should then merge these statements into a
single document and distribute the draft
statements to all managers.
• A request for modifications, additions, and
deletions is needed next, along with a meeting
to revise the document.
Characteristics of a Mission Statement
1. A Declaration of Attitude
It usually is broad in scope for at least two major
reasons. First, a good mission statement allows for the
generation and consideration of a range of feasible
alternative objectives and strategies without unduly
stifling management creativity.
A mission statement needs to be broad to
reconcile differences effectively among, and appeal to,
an organization’s diverse stakeholders , the individuals
and groups of individuals who have a special stake or
claim on the company. Thus a mission statement should
be reconciliatory .
2. A Customer orientation
A good mission statement reflects the anticipations
of customers.
The following utility statements are relevant in developing
a mission statement:
• Do not offer me things.
• Do not offer me clothes. Offer me attractive
• Do not offer me shoes. Offer me comfort for
my feet and the pleasure of walking.
• Do not offer me a house. Offer me security,
comfort, and a place that is clean and happy.
• Do not offer me books. Offer me hours of
pleasure and the benefit of knowledge.
• Do not offer me CDs. Offer me leisure and the
sound of music.
• Do not offer me tools. Offer me the benefits and
the pleasure that come from making beautiful
• Do not offer me furniture. Offer me comfort and
the quietness of a cozy place.
• Do not offer me things. Offer me Offer me ideas,
emotions, ambience, feelings, and benefits.
• Please, do not offer me things.
1. Customers—Who are the firm’s customers?
2. Products or services—What are the firm’s
major products or services?
3. Markets—Geographically, where does the firm
4. Technology—Is the firm technologically
5. Concern for survival, growth, and
profitability—Is the firm committed to growth
and financial soundness
6. Philosophy —What are the basic beliefs, values,
aspirations, and ethical priorities of
the firm?
7. Self-concept —What is the firm’s distinctive
competence or major competitive
8. Concern for public image —Is the firm responsive
to social, community, an environmental concerns?
9. Concern for employees —Are employees a
valuable asset of the firm?
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