Mission vs Vision | The Rainbow and the Pot of Gold

Every organisation–be it a businesses or a non-profit–needs a vision and mission. It’s easy to get the two confused, especially since they both end with –ion. But they are, in fact, two separate things.

Allow me to break it down for you.

The Vision

This is the goal of an organisation. The proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

An organisation’s vision is a message that must be consistently and constantly communicated to the individuals who are involved within the organisation. It is the glue that ties everyone together and keeps everybody on track as they manifest something that simply may not even exist.

New business owners typically start with nothing but a vision and an idea. In my experience, it isn’t uncommon for businesses to alter or change trajectory as the organisation grows and stabilises. If your old vision is outdated or no longer applicable, you can always come up with a new one.

The Mission

If the vision is the pot of gold, then the mission is the rainbow. The journey that is going to get the organisation there.

What does the organisation do? Who is it doing it for? How does it do it in a way that is unique?

Answering these questions allows the organisation to position itself in a crowded and noisy world. It is the mission–not the vision–that is communicated to the organisation’s customers, patrons and the general public.

Conclusion

In a world with unlimited possibilities, a goal and a roadmap is what keeps the organisation on track.

With that, I hope a ladybug shines down on you (and me) with some luck. May your organisation’s mission create the vision you had for the world when you first started it. If you’re in the process of a restructuring or rebirth, then all the best… and good luck!

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