Insights From Our Editors

What’s the Difference Between a Vision & Mission Statement?

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

April 24, 2019

A vision and mission statement are both important to a practice.

Mission statements and vision statements help give a practice direction. The mission and vision statements form the core of your business plan. Even though the mission and vision statements serve different purposes in a practice, they are often confused.

Let’s clear up that confusion. A mission statement is present-focused and defines what is done day-to-day. A vision statement is future-focused. It’s a statement of what you want to accomplish. “The mission is what people do in order to achieve the vision. It is the how (mission) versus the why (vision).”

Let’s look at examples of mission and vision statements to see the difference.

Here are three future-focused vision statements:

1. Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Microsoft (at its founding): A computer on every desk and in every home.

3. CVS: We will help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

Here are three present-focused mission statements:
1. American Express: We work hard every day to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.

2. Nordstrom: To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.

3. Forbes: To deliver information on the people, ideas and technologies changing the world to our community of affluent business decision makers.

Now that you understand the difference between mission and vision statements, it’s your turn. If you have mission and vision statements for your practice, take a new look at them to see if your vision statement is future-focused and your mission statement is present-focused. If you do not have vision and mission statements for your practice, then create them this week.

 

References
i. https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-write-vision-and-mission-statements–cms-43
ii. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/general/the-difference-between-vision-and-mission/
iii. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inspiring-company-mission-statements

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