I often see an unhealthy and unhelpful infatuation with vision and mission statements.
There is a substantive and critically important difference between vision statements, and vision itself … between mission statements, and mission itself.
At times, it seems as if some organizations have “borrowed” (think copy and paste) their statements from other organizations. This creates questions in my mind about the actual vision and mission that may, or may not be behind the statements. Statements can be a crutch and a very poor substitute for the real thing.
Sure, crafting well thought out vision and mission statements can help with clarity. It can force at least some of the right questions and conversations that lead to appropriate decision points. These decision points can help clarify and solidify direction.
However, the same statements that help clarify direction, can also put you in a box and lock you into a “vision” and “mission” that is either incorrect, myopic, or even small.
You should just kill your vision and mission statements. Then, concentrate on having and articulating a robust vision and mission. To do so well, you will need to go way beyond puny statements.
Compelling vision and mission helps keep your organization on the correct, forward-moving trajectory. If your vision and mission aren’t meaningful, impactful and God-sized, then regardless of what you execute tactically, it will fall short.