Change the Mission, Not the Vision

missionChange the Mission, not the Vision. In 2014 many businesses are revising their plans for the future in order to take advantage of the rising economic tide. Although there is still economic uncertainty, many economists maintain that 2014 through 2016 will be building years with most G20 countries posting positive GDP gains. During this crucial time your business should be looking at establishing a strong mission that maintains the vision of the company already established. To survive tough economic times, it is the mission that should be your focus of change while the business vision remains the bedrock on which the mission is founded.

A True Understanding
One of the most well-respected business journals in the world, the Harvard Business Review explained how a business vision has propelled major corporations such as Merck, Sony, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson through multiple decades in some of the most difficult times to remain major forces within their industries. They posit that it was simply through a well-developed vision statement. The hypothesis is that truly great companies understand the difference between what should always remain the same and what needs to continually adapt and change to meet ever changing market conditions. In their research the corporate vision statement has often remained the same while mission statements and action plans continuously adapt. Keeping the core principles and values of the vision at the forefront of these plans, in order to renew themselves and provide superior long-term innovation and performance; this is the true understanding of what a vision is and how it differs from a mission statement.

Two Necessary Components
The most important components of a business vision are the development of the corporate core ideology and an envisioned future that complete the vision of the company. The core ideology is the raison d’être of a company; the reason for being and why the corporation exists. This can include the core principles or values that are central to the personal belief system of the owners or executive leadership. The core ideology or values of a corporation are the same values that will provide a common purpose for the employees as the company grows, changes and evolves. The second component is the envisioned future of where the leadership of the company expects to be in 5 to 20 years in the future. The second component is meant to represent a major dream, goal or aspiration which will require major change, innovation or development in order to achieve.

In uncertain times, if the vision of your business is not clear, failure is more likely to happen. Ensure the vitality of your business by ensuring your corporate vision establishes itself as a guiding path while a specific mission leads time sensitive changes in the industry, geography and economic markets. A mission is like the milestones on your journey while your vision is the end destination itself. A mission prepares your company for the future, whereas a vision ensures it gets there.

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