Mission Vision Values: The Heart & Soul Of Your Firm ❤️
Have you ever had the feeling that your company changes direction more often than needed? That its ambition isn’t clear, or that you aren’t sure what it stands for? You probably need to create mission vision values statements.
These wonderful little statements help to clarify your company’s purpose, your long-term goals, and the kind of company you want to be. They provide a distinct sense of direction for your firm, helping employees, executives, and customers to recognise and appreciate what your company does (which increases customer loyalty and boosts your Net Promoter Score). This process is one of the cornerstones of creating a strong brand and ideally you should do this as soon as you have decided on your business name (see our business name generator article for ideas), but even for mature companies and organisations, the process of creating or recreating your mission, vision and values can help to reinvigorate your brand and set you up for growth.
In this article, we’ll explore the definition of mission, vision, and values (with examples), the differences between them, and how to create them for your business. You’ll see the positive effect that your mission, vision, and values statements can have for your business, and how you can give your company a sense of meaning and purpose by forging your own.
What are mission vision values?
Mission vision values are a way to provide purpose, aspiration, and a code of ethics for your company. They make your team feel united in a common set of goals and tell the world who you are as a business and what you stand for.
Every word in the phrase means something different, and must be devised individually (more on creating your mission, vision, and values statements later).
- Mission is your company’s purpose. It can also include how to achieve your purpose, and who you serve. It addresses the why of your business.
- Vision is your company’s highest aspiration. It’s the impact you want to have on the world. It addresses where you want to be.
- Values are how you behave. They’re a code of ethics that address how you act as a business.
Because your mission, vision, and values describe why the company exists, where it’s going, and who it aspires to be, it can serve as a framework for creating your strategy and goals. This helps to create clarity and focus for every staff member—from interns to executives—creating a crystal-clear heading that every person steers towards. This can make people sharper, more productive, and drive growth for the business.
Your vision and values are also characteristically human, which can make your customers feel a genuine connection with you, especially if they reflect their own personality or character.
The mission statement in mission vision values
A mission statement declares your company’s reason for being. It succinctly explains what you offer as a business, which allows your target audience to know what you do and what you are trying to achieve. It can also provide direction for employees and stakeholders when faced with a difficult decision that may seem misaligned with the company’s mission.
Headphone manufacturer Sennheiser’s mission statement is:
“We strive to help you enjoy and create unsurpassed audio experiences that push the boundaries of what exists today.”
—Sennheiser mission statement
This has every component needed for a good mission statement and can serve as a guidepost for decisions big and small across the entire firm. Some mission statements include information on who their company serves, such as Apple’s:
“To bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.”
—Apple mission statement
Businesses can change drastically over time, and their mission statement should be revised and improved along with it. In fact, it’s good practice to review your mission, vision, and values every year, or whenever the company makes a major change to its operation. This keeps the company’s focus sharp, which boosts confidence and diminishes doubt for team members. It also keeps customers in the loop, and allows them to understand what the company does, where it’s going, and how it conducts itself.
The vision statement in mission vision values
Your company vision should be highly aspirational
A vision statement reveals a company’s ultimate dream. It’s an aspirational declaration that describes their biggest and boldest goal to the world, often as a way to improve people’s quality of life, or the lives of animals living on our planet. It’s much broader and far-reaching than a mission statement, inspiring employees and team members to help them achieve their vision, and customers to admire and respect them.
A vision statement doesn’t need to be achievable, it just needs to inspire people. Take this statement from British charity Save The Children:
“A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development, and participation.”
—Save the Children vision statement
No logical person would think that this charity could give every child these rights, but the statement clearly declares their ultimate goal, and tells you what they stand for. It’s beautifully admirable.
Another charity example from the Alzheimer’s Association:
“A world without Alzheimer’s.”
—Alzheimer’s Association vision statement
You can’t get much simpler than that. They want to eradicate one of the world’s most horrible diseases—a magnificent vision that every one of us can support.
In the software world, we have the following:
“Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
—LinkedIn vision statement
This is another audacious statement that clearly states the purpose of LinkedIn. It may be surprising to some, who view LinkedIn as just another social platform—a place to procrastinate when work feels a little too hard. But the company has declared to the world that it wants to create job opportunities for its millions of users, and it will be interesting to see the features they might introduce to help achieve their vision.
The values statement in mission vision values
A values statement describes your company’s guiding principles. They make up your desired character—the attitudes, beliefs, ideals, and morals you hold dear, which influence how you talk to customers, how you talk to fellow employees, and how your business decisions might affect people. As with the vision statement, your values statement should be aspirational, describing not just the kind of company you are, but the kind of company you want to be. They’re the heart and soul of your firm and a window into your culture, which makes them a handy guide when hiring new staff.
Values statements are usually written in sentence form, but can also be bullet points. They can contain single values such as “integrity,” or use other words to describe values such as “committed in heart and mind.” These are Starbucks’ values:
- Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
- Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
- Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
- Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
—Starbucks Coffee’s values
These create an image of a welcoming, mindful, honest, and courageous business. They might influence various business processes such as how cafe employees interact with customers, how executives deal with business partners, and even how they market their products. Starbucks have made their company’s personality clear, and should aspire to be this kind of person in their various endeavours.
Apptio—a software firm that provides business solutions—uses part of their value statement to focus on their customers:
“Create wildly successful customers by doing whatever it takes to enable our champions to be transformational leaders and their staff to be superstars.”
Ecommerce software company SquareSpace go for something a little more simple:
- Be your own customer
- Empower individuals
- Design is not a luxury
- Good work takes time
- Optimize towards ideals
These describe values like individuality, industriousness, and simplicity. You might imagine a company with unique goals that it carries out with dogged tenacity, which it uses to make people’s lives more autonomous and less complicated.
Yahoo! goes for something simpler still, opting for single words that describe their character:
- Customer Fixation
These give us a reasonable idea of what they value as a company, but might be expounded a little to make things clearer. A company’s values should describe its ultimate role model and every admirable quality or belief that the role model has.
Difference between a mission and a vision
What's the key difference between a mission and a vision statement?The confusion is reasonable because the two are similar, but the key difference is time. A mission statement deals with the present—the here and now. It’s what the business is trying to achieve at this very moment. It can be aspirational, but it shouldn’t deal with the future. This is reserved for your vision statement.
Mission vs vision vs values
Mission, vision, and values statements can lead your company to success
To better understand the nuances between each type of statement, we've created this mission vs vision vs values table. This allows you to compare the statements side-by-side for a variety of company type
To cement your understanding of the difference between a company’s mission, vision, and values, it can help to see them side by side. Here are some examples:
To provide high-quality and long-lasting sportswear to Australians.
To create exceptional and durable sportswear that is recognised and worn across the world.
Always have a high attention to detail, to design and create quality clothing, using locally-sourced, environmentally-friendly materials.
To offer law services for anyone who needs them, no matter their wealth.
To provide exceptional free law services for the most needy people in Australia.
To help businesses grow in the most effective and affordable ways possible.
To have a positive impact on the Australian economy by helping businesses succeed.
- Seekers of cutting-edge knowledge
- Inspiring teachers
- Champions of new technology
To help our customers prosper through financial advice and services.
To be Australia’s most profitable and inspiring bank.
Always treat people with dignity and respect, and provide them with the highest quality, ethical banking services.
Mission vision values statement examples
What better place to get inspiration than the real world? Here are some of the best mission vision values statement examples that you'll find, from the world's most successful companies.
Some businesses have excellent mission, vision, and values statements. Here’s a mixture from around the world.
Mission statement examples
“Exceptional quality in every product we sell and every experience we deliver, to our customers and our people”
"To embrace the human spirit and let it fly."
“To power an economy in which everyone wins.”
“To be the world's leading provider of innovative business solutions in support services.”
“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them."
“To serve our customers better, to always be relevant in their lives, and to form lifelong relationships.”
“We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.”
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Vision statement examples
“To be Australia’s leading natural gas company by 2025.”
“To build a connected future so everyone can thrive.”
“Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy."
“To become the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.”
“To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”
“To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time."
Values statement examples
“That horizon might be closer than you think.”
- Obsess over our users
- Be bold and move fast
- Work with respect
- Build trust with transparency
- Learn by doing
“We are committed to excellence in the delivery of medical services to doctors and patients alike. This belief informs every aspect of our company, including our Medical Leadership and people-focused culture that views our staff as our most valuable asset.”
“Integrity, collaboration, accountability, excellence and service.”
- We care about the well-being and success of every person.
- High standards are a way of life. We pursue excellence in everything we do.
- We make a difference in every community we serve.
- We respect and listen to our people.
- We empower our people to make decisions that improve their work and benefit our customers and our company.
How to make a vision, mission, and value statement
Now that you know what these crucial little statements represent—how to make a vision, mission, and value statement of your own?
These statements delve deep into the nature and purpose of your company, so should be created by major stakeholders such as senior management. It can be helpful to invite other members of staff into the meeting, but ultimately, senior staff are the people who decide the direction of the company, so should have the biggest influence when creating the statements.
Each of these statements should be short—one or two sentences, or a maximum of five bullets for each. This makes them easier to remember by team members and customers.
Ideally, you should create your mission, vision, and value statements when starting a business, to help clarify its goals, aspirations, and codes of conduct. But existing businesses can create them at any point in their existence, and it’s always a good idea to update them after major company changes.
To create your statements, you’ll want to gather everyone into a boardroom or another space where you won’t be disturbed, and arm yourself with large sheets of paper, plenty of pens, and a whiteboard to collate everyone’s ideas.
Depending on how big your group is, each statement should take between two to four hours to complete.
How to create a mission statement
Give everyone their own sheet of paper and pen, and ask them to answer the following questions in as many ways as they can:
- Why do we exist? What is our company’s purpose?
- What challenges does our company solve?
- Who are our customer groups? Have we been through the market segmentation process?
- What are our capabilities?
- What do our customers value?
- How do we use our products/services to reach our goals?
- What differentiates us from our competitors?
If you have a large number of people in the exercise, it will be faster to group them into two and threes.
Once done, add these questions to the whiteboard, and go through each of them as a group, asking people to shout out their answers. Once done, discussing as a group again, rank the answers in order of importance/relevance.
By the end of the session, you should have a list of prioritised ideas about your company’s purpose, what your capabilities are, who your customers are, and how you help them. You can now try to write the mission statement as a group, or ask the most talented writer in your group (or your business) to turn the ideas into a succinct, pointed statement that describes your company’s mission.
How to create a vision statement
As with the mission statement, gather people into a quiet meeting room, and give everyone their own sheet of paper. Then ask them to answer the following questions:
- What is our company’s ultimate, inspirational purpose?
- What is the most amazing thing that we could achieve as a company?
- What do we want to achieve in five years?
- What do we want to achieve in ten years?
- How can we make the world a better place?
- What are the BIG problems we’re trying to solve?
Once done, add these questions to the whiteboard and populate them as a group, with people shouting out their answers. Then rank them in order of importance/relevance.
When you’re finished, you’ll have a list of prioritised, inspirational ideas about your company’s long-term vision. As with the mission statement, you can try to turn these ideas into a statement, or give the task to someone with good writing skills. The key is to make your vision statement bold, motivational, and inspiring.
How to create a values statement
Same deal as before. Get your stakeholders into a meeting room, give them a sheet of paper, and ask them to answer these key questions:
- What does the business stand for?
- What are our most deeply-held values?
- Which values do we not hold?
- What kind of people do we want to be?
- How should we conduct ourselves?
- What are our customers’ values?
Write people’s answers on the whiteboard, and rank them as a group. You now have a list of core values that are important to the company, and can write a values statement based on them.
Mission vision values summary
If you're feeling a lack of direction with your business, mission vision values statements can provide you with a clear roadmap that clarifies your purpose, long-term goals, and the values that you want to live by. They can reinvigorate your brand and staff, and make you feel excited about your company's future.