Everything you need to know about strategic objectives, mission and vision statements.
Increase your understanding of the first steps in any strategic business planning process.
Strategic business planning is essential to the success of every organisation. Every manager involved in strategic planning within their organisation is aware of how crucial it is to take the right steps in order to develop a detailed and well-thought-out strategic plan.
One of the first steps in strategic business planning that can’t be ignored, is to create strategic objectives, a mission statement and a vision statement. Let’s delve into what objectives, mission and vision statements are in order to increase our understanding of how they fit into a long-term strategic business plan.
Objectives, mission and vision statements.
What are objectives?
Objectives can be described as a specific result that an organisation is aiming to achieve. An objective is like a goal however an objective needs to be SMART whereas a goal can be general. What is SMART? SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. SMART is a guide for what elements need to be included in an objective in-order for it to be considered viable. For example, an objective must be SPECIFIC in-order for it to be targeted and understandable. It must be MEASURABLE so that progress on the objective can be tracked. It must be ACHIEVABLE so that realistic and reasonable actions can be taken to achieve it. It must be RELEVANT and contributing to the organisations strategic, long term direction. Lastly it must be TIME-BASED as without a time frame it will not have any sense of urgency to deliver and progress will not have any time frame in order to be tracked.
When creating your objectives remember to make them SMART! Objectives once created and defined become basic tools for an organisation to use as a foundation when developing and planning strategy. They also form the basis for a company’s mission and vision statement.
Mission and vision statements.
Apart from objectives an organisation will also need to create a strategic mission statement and vision statement. These statements are both expressions that come from the executive leaders and management of an organisation to express their desires, purpose, focus and intent for the organisation in a way that can documented and communicated to employees, customers, suppliers, stakeholders and the local community of the organisation. These statements can be instrumental in the corporate culture of the organisation and in providing employees with a sense of belonging.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is a declaration of why an organisation exists, a summary of their general operations, their overall objectives, functions and purpose in the present time. It is an action focused statement of what the organisation will deliver and details the organisation’s what, who and why. It may address the target audience for the product or service or even specify a geographical location. The mission statement will then lead into the organisation’s vision statement.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is a declaration of what an organisation aspires to achieve in the future by following its mission. A vision statement is also wider than the just the organisation itself. It is a statement that addresses where the organisation wants the industry, community, audience or world to be as a result of the organisations contributions and impact. Is it a statement that should be a source of motivation and inspiration for the employees of the organisation, encouraging them to work hard in order to deliver the organisation’s vision.
Evolving mission and vision statements.
As the world, industries, demographics, economy and brands constantly change it is important that organisations do revise their mission and vision statements ensuring they do not lose focus and keep up with the current landscape. Out-dated missions and visions may also need to be updated if the organisation has achieved what they did set out to do and have evolved past that mission/vision.
Examples of mission and vision statements.
Vision and mission statements can be found on an organisation’s website, promotional items, stated in press releases, interviews, downloadable content or annual/financial reports. Sometimes mission and vision statements are combined into one strategic statement that an organisation will list as opposed to 2 statements. Some organisations even list goals!
Here are some examples of mission and vision statements from some of the world’s leading brands.
Google’s mission statement:
“Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."
(View the full statement on the company’s website)
Samsung’s mission statement:
“Inspire the world with our innovative technologies, products and designs that enrich people’s lives and contribute to social prosperity by creating a new future.”
Samsung’s vision statement:
Vision 2020 – “Inspire the World, Create the Future.”
“The Vision 2020 is at the core of our commitment to create a better world full of richer digital experiences, through innovative technology and products. The goal of the vision is to become a beloved brand, an innovative company, and an admired company. For this, we dedicate our efforts to creativity and innovation, shared value with our partners, and our great people…We look forward to exploring new business areas such as healthcare and automotive electronics and continue our journey through history of innovation.”
(View the full statements on the company’s website)
Facebook’s mission statement:
"Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."
Facebook’s vision statement:
“Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. As our company grows we have 5 strong values that guide the way we work and the decisions we make each day to help achieve our mission.”
(View the full statements on the company’s website)
Now that we have a better understanding of what objectives, mission statements and vision statements are, it is easier to understand why they exist in the strategic planning process and even how to create them ourselves!
If you would like to learn more about strategic planning, London Training for Excellence offers a wonderful course called Advanced Techniques: Strategic Thinking and Business Planning. It is suitable for all managers involved in strategy formulation and planning. If you would like to find out more out the course please follow the course link below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!