What is the difference between vision and mission? Do we need both?

Answered by Meeta Malhotra

It doesn’t matter what you call them, every company, big and small, needs to define the following:

  1. Why you exist and what your goal is, beyond making a profit or maximizing value for shareholders (vision, purpose, goals)
  2. How you are going to achieve your goal (mission)
  3. What kind of culture you want to create (values, mantras, isms)

The first part is defining the WHY and the follow-up is defining the HOW. As long as you do that, it doesn’t matter whether you have one statement or two, whether you call it vision or mission or purpose. As long as everyone in the company understands what you are setting out to do, how you are going to accomplish it  and what is their role – that’s enough.

Here’s an example. This is a great vision-mission combo. It’s clear and powerful has both the why and the how (Disclaimer: I worked on it)

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