Importance of Vision and Mission Statements
One of the first things that any observer of management thought and practice asks is whether a particular organization has a vision and mission statement. In addition, one of the first things that one learns in a business school is the importance of vision and mission statements.
This article is intended to elucidate on the reasons why vision and mission statements are important and the benefits that such statements provide to the organizations. It has been found in studies that organizations that have lucid, coherent, and meaningful vision and mission statements return more than double the numbers in shareholder benefits when compared to the organizations that do not have vision and mission statements. Indeed, the importance of vision and mission statements is such that it is the first thing that is discussed in management textbooks on strategy.
Some of the benefits of having a vision and mission statement are discussed below:
- Above everything else, vision and mission statements provide unanimity of purpose to organizations and imbue the employees with a sense of belonging and identity. Indeed, vision and mission statements are embodiments of organizational identity and carry the organizations creed and motto. For this purpose, they are also called as statements of creed.
- Vision and mission statements spell out the context in which the organization operates and provides the employees with a tone that is to be followed in the organizational climate. Since they define the reason for existence of the organization, they are indicators of the direction in which the organization must move to actualize the goals in the vision and mission statements.
- The vision and mission statements serve as focal points for individuals to identify themselves with the organizational processes and to give them a sense of direction while at the same time deterring those who do not wish to follow them from participating in the organizations activities.
- The vision and mission statements help to translate the objectives of the organization into work structures and to assign tasks to the elements in the organization that are responsible for actualizing them in practice.
- To specify the core structure on which the organizational edifice stands and to help in the translation of objectives into actionable cost, performance, and time related measures.
- Finally, vision and mission statements provide a philosophy of existence to the employees, which is very crucial because as humans, we need meaning from the work to do and the vision and mission statements provide the necessary meaning for working in a particular organization.
As can be seen from the above, articulate, coherent, and meaningful vision and mission statements go a long way in setting the base performance and actionable parameters and embody the spirit of the organization. In other words, vision and mission statements are as important as the various identities that individuals have in their everyday lives.
It is for this reason that organizations spend a lot of time in defining their vision and mission statements and ensure that they come up with the statements that provide meaning instead of being mere sentences that are devoid of any meaning.