Vision, Mission and Objectives are frequently used terms and people use these terms interchangeably and that make them confuse. Therefore they find difficulty to relate strategies and tactics with these terms and this is where the things go wrong as it mixes up the meanings and create confusions. In the current blog, I will discuss and burst the myth.
Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics – These are 5 statements which form the two aspects of the business-
- What the organizations want to achieve – reflected by Vision, Mission and Objectives
- And how they are going to achieve the above “what”: reflected by the Strategies and Tactics as these are long term and short term implementation plans respectively.
A real strength within organizationsis gained when these statements are defined with clarity, completeness, and are consistent with each other. This implies that there should be an alignmentbetween all of these statements. This alignment can be ensured by the assessment of:
- Definition: Whether these statements are defined for the organisation for the foundation of success?
- Clarity: If these statements provide a direction and plan for the work, organizational resourcesare carried out?
- Communication: Are Organisation resources aware about these statements and use them as a context of the work, they do?
- Commitment: Whether these statements make people supportive to the organizationfor their intent and whether they are agreed to the content of these statements?
If these statements are defined by above characteristics and answer of these questions are ‘Yes’, organization internal capability is significantly ensuredand if any of the above is lacking, there is apotential of Weaknesswhich in turn limits or undermines the organization’s efforts.
So let’s begin with comprehension of these statements and then how these statements can be used to assess the internal capabilities and limitations of organizations-
1. Vision: A vision is a Big Picture Idea of “What” the organization wants to achieve. What you want to achieve, something in — Future
A vision statement should inspire the people in organizations, people are excited to be part of “What”, and motivated to put their energy and time to achieve the “Future”
A good vision statement, I found for an agriculture business:
“A Vibrant Economy driven by value added agriculture”
Here the Vibrant Economy has the ability to inspire the people, who are involved in this agricultural business
2. Mission: A Mission is about what the organizationdoes to achieve the vision.
A mission is an action statement to achieve the vision. A mission statement is not required to be inspirational; instead, it provides a clear focus about what an organization does and what it doesn’t.
For example, a mission statement is defined to achieve the above vision:
“To create and facilitate the development of value added agriculture”
Here “Create and facilitate” are two clear focus areas where the organization is required to put its energy. Organization does efforts for the development (Create) and to make ease (facilitate) the agriculture business and whatever is not mentioned here, organization is not involved – a clear direction about what organization does and what it doesn’t.
A mission statement is simple, direct and operative, a great mission statement is:
Short: Mission statement should be easy to remember, each person in organizations should be aware of the mission statement in order to use in context with the work he/she does.
Simple: Mission statement language should be of everyday life, words like stakeholder values, financial goals and best practices are not used in daily life. For example a mission statement – “Help people in achieving work using best practices” – How many people dream about best practices? The answer is very few; doyou really believe, people talk in such language. The answer is simply ‘NO.’
Operative: A mission statement should provide a clear direction and focus about what an organization does and a clear route about initiative and resource allocation.
So what kinds of resources are needed for the above mentioned mission statement for agriculture business? – Probably SME, who can provide their services for the development and facilitation of the agriculture business, and farmers who may be involved for the financial support in the venture.
A mission statement should help to understand “Who we are”, “What we do” and to “which industry we belong to” for example a mission statement like “Increasing customer satisfaction” – well, virtually it is impossible, anyways – does it provide to which industry a mission belongs to? Or what organization control? The answer is no and hence we cannot claim it as a mission statement.
An organization should try to find out a mission statement, which can drive them.
3. Objectives: An objective is time sensitive statement to achieve the goals of the organization and defined in measurable terms.
And goals are statements of milepost to achieve the vision, goals describe – what you want to achieve through your efforts.
Goals for the above mentioned vision of agriculture business can be defined as, but not limited to:
- Improve profitability
- Increase volume
- Provide stability
A goal is a broad definition, saying “improve profitability” – it lacks the specifics and defined in general and broad terms. Objectives on the other hand, are quite specific and further define the goal. To continue with ‘profitability’ example, objectives can be defined as:
15k$ net profit as % of sale in a year
10k$ net profit as % of investment in a year.
Now, while explaining, objectives a SMART acronym is commonly used:
Specific: It is entirely job related, in above example “sales” and “investment” is related to the job.
Measurable: Objectives are always defined in measurable terms, we can measure above objectives using target of 10k$ and 15k$ profit.
Attainable: Objectives should be attainable within provided environment and resources and organizations need to analyse what is required to achieve defined objectives and need to continuously need to make sure it.
Time Bounded: Objectives should be achievable within the provided time period and in our example we identified time ‘a year’.
So without question, goals and objectives are similar (not same) and complement each other – with goals, there is no pressure to be specific and in fact goals are open ended. Setting goals are effective as a broad outline, however, due to its fundamental nature of being broad and open ended, these are not the ideal way to achieve something.
Whenever you want to achieve something – define goal and then define a series of objectives to achieve those goals.
To summarize goals are broad direction setting statements, objectives are more specific and both are designed to get you to take an action.
4. Strategies: Strategies are long term implementation plans to achieve the goals and objectives. These statements define how you can succeed in achieving your mission and stay along in the completion. Strategies are likely to be defined following a SWOT analysis as both external and internal environment assessment is needed as an input to develop strategies.
Strategic options may include, the development of market or product or in some diversified cases, both the market and product development.
Example strategic options like Increase Market (sale in customers), New Product (like product enhancement, product line extension, and products at different quality levels) and new distribution channel are identified to achieve goals and objectives.
A strategy like, design, social media promotion for next one year can be identified for the above mentioned objectives. We can define one or many strategies for a combination of goals and objective.
5. Tactics: Tactics are short term implementation or action plan to deliver the long term strategy.
A grass root level action plans are defined to ensure daily activities are in line with achieving the relevant strategy(s).
Tactics like, a sales staff member is expected to do 10 social media activity daily, could be an example to deliver a long term strategy.
Once you have defined all of these 5 (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics) statements, you will have the foundation of your business. For this reason it is important to know that these 5 statements are open acted with each other.
Now these statements can be used to assess the internal capabilities and limitations of an organization, these statements are examined for their completeness, clarity and awareness within organizations, if these qualities are missing then a change is needed within organizations to solve the identified organizational level internal weakness.
These statements should provide a clear focus and direction and should serve as an internal strength for the organization.
You may watch and listen to the video presentation on difference between Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics here
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