Ever dream of being able to sail a sloop to the tropics? Have you also dreamt of gathering all the sailing and crew skills needed to achieve your dream?
Although nothing could be more removed from the office or your job, such a dream contains the two main components of creating a vision and mission in the business world.
Your vision, to set sail for a tropical shore of your choosing, can only be achieved via your mission: to learn and accrue the skills necessary to sail there.
Now, think of what your vision is for your organization or enterprise. Your vision may be free college textbooks for all or an expansive mobile monitor that scrolls up like a yoga mat, unfurls without a curl, and can go anywhere.
A vision, according to the University of Kansas Work Group for Community Help and Development, is “how things would look if the issue important to you were completely and perfectly addressed.” The Kansas Work Group also avers that to effectuate a vision, it must contain vision statements– “short phrases or sentences that convey your (company’s) hopes for the future.”
The University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment further states that vision statements “articulate a common purpose for the participants and guide decisions about where to focus future effort.”
Vision statements usually number anywhere from three to six sentences or thoughts, according to these institutions. Examples might range from “rivers free of shoreline homes and businesses” or “hamburgers without saturated fat and cholesterol.” Essentially, they guide decisions about where to focus future efforts.
Lapsing back into your original maritime dream, your vision is nothing without a mission–to learn the skills of skippering your sloop destined for palm-dotted islands.
An organization’s mission statement tells what it will do to realize its vision and why it will do it. To keep rivers free of privately owned shoreline, it might engage a community of collaborators to raise funds to buy off private property on all of Michigan’s or Baraga County’s rivers and create no-building zones on those acquired lands.
Your personal dream’s mission would be to take a sailing course that includes on-the-water training for long-distance sails.
A mission is more action-oriented than a vision. It is a ladder to your vision. It is short (one sentence or just a few words), and it clearly envisions an outcome. It is inclusive of others who for their own reasons want to become involved with it. This segues perfectly to the final element necessary to achieve your vision.
Now that you have a vision and mission, you need the feet to get you there–vested collaborators. In the case of your sea-breeze escape, you need the expertise of a sailing school and its teachers. You also need a boat capable of getting you across the hundreds and hundreds of marine miles, and you may need a crew, whether it consists of just one other person or two.
As an organization, your ability to attract vested collaborators depends on whether your vision and mission affect their lives and livelihoods. Sport-fishing groups, kayakers, or rafters might share your vision of rivers without private shorelines, as might recreational and conservation organizations in general.
Your perfectly guilt-free hamburger might draw collaboration from educational organizations and schools, weight-loss groups, and institutions or even modern farming operations that can raise cattle in a way that facilitates healthier meat.
Essentially, you achieve engagement by sharing your vision and mission articulately to those whose own missions stand to gain from yours. It’s just as essential that your employees are vested in your final objective or vision because of how it supports their dreams.
Long sails or sojourns, like missions and visions, are not without some rough water and stormy skies. However, if you follow your vision’s map with due diligence, you are likely to find a mooring where your view is not a dream, but a real discovery and accomplishment.
April 13, 2017
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