Vision, Mission, Strategy

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Today we are going to talk about the 3 magic things which help companies give ambitious goals, overall direction and motivation.  It is a concept, not just applying to companies, but to any project, group, or yourself to define what do you want to achieve and how. They are like a secret sauce on a meal- summarizes the flavors, and makes the dish more coherent. You will be able to see explanations, examples from all over, and my own personal take.

Welcome to vision, mission and strategy!

Let start with some common ground. What connects the 3 concepts:

  • Displayed by the brand image
  • Consistent with each other and business actions
  • Should be known by leaders and associates as well

VISION - the dream

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The company's vision statement is the most inspiring, high rising dream we want to achieve. It is motivational, challenging, energising. It should be easy to understand and communicate. The vision statement should be something that resonates within the community, a common goal and belief.

Examples of excellent vision statements:

“Our vision is to create a better every-day life for many people.” – IKEA

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"To make people happy" Disney

“People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership.” Ford

MISSION- the what and why

The mission statement describes why and what do we want to achieve. It is more specific than the dream, and shows the values of the company. It gives you an ambitious, but foreseeable goal. This should be the major energizer for the people, and a direction for all the team.

Here are the mission statement pairs of the 3 vision statements what we have seen above:

"At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering 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.” IKEA

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"The mission of The Walt Disney Company 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." Disney

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“One Team. One Plan. One Goal.”  Ford

Ford explains that the expanded form of its mission statement is as follows:

  • One Team: “People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership, as measured by: Customer, Employee, Dealer, Investor, Supplier, Union/Council, and Community Satisfaction.”
  • One Plan: “Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix; Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value; Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet; Work together effectively as one team.”
  • One Goal: “An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all.

See how the mission statements are:

  • More specific
  • Contain ambitious goals
  • Give direction and value

Let's see one more example, this time from Steele County Minnesota. I really like this one, as it shows, that the vision and mission are widely applicable. Starting with their mission statement, you can see what do they want to do and what are their values. In the vision statement you can see the overall dream of the Steele County government.

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*Mission and vision often used together with values- they show the important rules the company operates by.

STRATEGY- the how

Let's start by excluding the obvious. What is not strategy?

Not a simple plan.

Not a set of actions.

Not an aspiration.

Not operational effectiveness. (Just in time strategy, best practices- these are not strategy)

Not being the best in an industry. (Being the first means you can only go down, besides: there is no best company in any industry)

Think about this statement from the Harvard Business Review- Most executives can not articulate the objective, scope, and advantage of their business in a simple statement. If they can't neither can anyone else.

Strategy is

A way to deliver a unique value to meet an important set of needs for an important set of customers.

A plan to create a unique and valuable position involving a distinctive set of activities.

A way to achieve a unique positioning and sustain advantage over time.

Strategy must have big, ambitious, difficult to reach goals. It has to be filled with values (of what the customer wants), and value alignment between the company and the customer. The strategy must be aligned with the vision and mission statement of the company. Its elements must be re-evaluated at each moment for relevance, and continuous alignment, and it must consider feedback. It is your attempt to position yourself differently in the market, and give customers a unique experience.

Making a good strategy is not a simple task, and executing is a challenge, and a huge topic by itself (157 million books found via Google!) But it is a key to success. It is not just a mere plan. It is an an overall direction of how you are going to take over the world.

I hope you all remember the classic movie called the Gladiator; see examples based on the movie!

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VISION- What do we want to become? 

The number 1 gladiator

MISSION- What do we want to achieve? MISSION

Survival and freedom

STRATEGY- What do we need to do

By conquering the world

 

To capture the ideas better, I tried to make my own short vision, mission and strategy:

Vision: To help people and organizations become their best self.

Mission: I would like to challenge the status quo, help people and make the world a better place. I will achieve this by providing the best ideas with a dash of creativity, working to achieve perfection and endless enthusiasm. I am constantly growing and applying my skills, knowledge, and empathy in diverse projects to achieve overall success.

Strategy:

  • Improve skills and learn
    • Tech and business
    • Communication and interpersonal skills
    • Absorb any knowledge from motivating people around me, and learn from myself
    • Grow personal brand
      • Attach something to my name
      • Make networks

Sum it up:

  • vision, mission, strategy gives you the why, what and how of existence
  • Applicable via wide range of projects
  • It  energizes the participants and gives them a common direction
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I hope I got you a bit closer to seeing what is vision, mission and strategy, or at least sparked your interest!

What do you think? What is your strategy?

Go ahead and provide feedback, questions, concerns, tips on topics!

 

Think along!

Barbora