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AO2 You need to be able to: Demonstrate application and analysis of knowledge and understanding
Command Terms: These terms require students to use their knowledge and skills to break down ideas into simpler
parts and to see how the parts relate: Analyse, Apply, Comment, Demonstrate, Distinguish, Explain, Interpret, Suggest

Statements - mission and vision

Be careful when trying to distinguish the mission statement from the vision statement. There is much confusion about these two statements, simply because there is generally a lack of clarity about what they are:

A Vision Statement:

  • Defines the optimal desired future state - the mental picture - of what an organization wants to achieve over time;
  • Provides guidance and inspiration as to what an organization is focused on achieving in five, ten, or more years;
  • Functions as the "north star" - it is what all employees understand their work every day ultimately contributes towards accomplishing over the long term; and,
  • Is written succinctly in an inspirational manner that makes it easy for all employees to repeat it at any given time.

Link to detailed explanation

Examples of effective Vision statements include:

Alzheimer's Association: "Our Vision is a world without Alzheimer's disease."

Avon: "To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women - globally."

Norfolk Southern: "Be the safest, most customer-focused and successful transportation company in the world."

Microsoft: "Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device."

Reston Association: "Leading the model community where all can live, work, and play."

A Mission statement:

  • Defines the present state or purpose of an organization;
  • Answers three questions about why an organization exists -

WHAT it does;
WHO it does it for; and
HOW it does what it does.

  • Is written succinctly in the form of a sentence or two, but for a shorter timeframe (one to three years) than a Vision statement; and,
  • Is something that all employees should be able to articulate upon request.

Examples of effective Mission statements include:

Erie Insurance: "To provide our policyholders with as near perfect protection, as near perfect service as is humanly possible and to do so at the lowest possible cost."

NatureAir: "To offer travelers a reliable, innovative and fun airline to travel in Central America."

Nissan: "Nissan provides unique and innovative automotive products and services that deliver superior, measurable values to all stakeholders in alliance with Renault."

St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company: "To lead the Canadian specialty commercial insurance industry through innovation, expertise and by providing products and services to satisfy the needs and exceed the expectations of our customers and business partners.

Target: "Our mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise."

NB A study(link is externa by Bain and Company(link is external) indicated that organizations that have clearly defined Vision and Mission statements that are aligned with a strategic plan, outperform those who do not

A Question: What links online banking, electric cars, interplanetary colonisation and solar electricity?

Answer - Watch this absolutely amazing entrepreneuer and be astounded by his vision and mission

Inspiring examples
1. Life is Good Playmakers T-Shirts

2. Sweetgreen Mission


And now Mission statements that suck:

1. "To help make every brand more inspiring, and the world more intelligent," begins Avery Dennison's mission statement. That's a pretty lofty ambition for a company whose product is stick-on labels. A good mission statement should have some relationship to reality.

2. Here's the first sentence of Barnes & Noble's mission statement: "Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell."

Here's the third sentence: "To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers."

It's probably better if your mission statement doesn't contradict itself.

3. Dell seems to have decided to meet the mission statement challenge by simply not having one. That should give you encouragement. Whatever you come up with has to be better than not trying at all...or is it?


Find 3 examples of mission statements and/or vision statements that you think are inspiring and using the criteria abive say why you think they are great mission/visions.