Vision sounds like a simple word, but it is one of many confusing elements in the development and growth of a business. Part of this confusion is because organizations like JKL Associates and others have various definitions and applications for such a word. Some of these points of contention are partly because there is no standard use of the word. Vision is often interchanged or confused with the word mission. It can also be cluttered with the word purpose. For the sake of this Guidepost here are some clarifications which may bring cleaner appreciation and understanding for the use of vision, mission, and purpose in an organization.
At JKL Associates we see “Purpose” as the central reason for “Why” the organization exists. The simplistic “Why” many business owners will respond with is – “to make money.” Although we are very much in support of an organization making a profit – i.e. money, this is not the intrinsic or extrinsic reason the organization exists. When a business is at a struggling point and money is not flowing as they would like, then it might just fold up its capability and go away but instead it pushes through because its core “Purpose” keeps pushing them forward. Some “purpose” statements can evolve into catchy phrases that take on their own life and are used in marketing and PR. There is nothing wrong with this multi-use approach just as long as the “Purpose” does not lose its meaning and intent. Your core “Purpose” statement is timeless. Not really having a start or finish to its value to the way in which the organization pursues in authentic “Why.”
Vision has to do with seeing or looking to the future. It articulates what the business will be and look like at some future state in time. The vision is dependent on a series of shorter accomplishments such as missions and inside of those are goals and objectives. Not only is the vision dependent on other work activities it is also directly linked to the organizations “Purpose” or why they exist. If the “Vision” and “Purpose” are not in alignment, then all other efforts to achieve contribution toward the vision are placed in jeopardy.
As mentioned, the mission of the business breaks down the vision into more specifics, timeframes, and contributions to the longer-term vision and ultimate realizing the organizations “Purpose.” A mission contains aspects of both the vision and purpose to maintain consistency in both the internal and external messaging.
Sometime a sample example might tighten up the appreciation and understanding.
A medical entity might have
Purpose – create confidence in people to achieve best outcomes
Vision – Provide the best health care services allowing patients to focus on their long-term quality health
Mission – Over the next three years, expand the footprint of services by opening 1 additional trauma center, 4 satellite urgent care centers and 6 professional services facilities to address the expanding demands of the community we serve.
Over the next few weeks, we will provide insights into the additional supporting elements of a great business culture and the outcomes it can provide. In the meantime, take the time to be ruthlessly honest with yourself and ask yourself if you have a living “Purpose,” “Vision” and possible mission(s) for your business. Still wondering how to integrate this into real daily execution? Give JKL Associates a call and speak with a Promise Guide to see if we can bring value to your efforts. – Call us at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246.
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