Vision, Mission, and Values
Establishing a business’s mission, vision, and values are crucial for setting a direction and reinforce its purpose. The vision statement describes what the business aspires to be in the future. The mission defines the business’s intention and product differentiation. And finally, the values statement provides a guideline for decision making and behavior within the business. All of these together should be applied to everything on your business, from Product Design to Content Strategy.
Understanding Vision, Mission, and Values
Crafting your vision, mission, and values statements are essential to establish your business's foundation and plan for the future. Having this step on your Product Strategy gives you the chance to really think about your business in general and reflect on its purpose and product value in the market. It’s about evaluating who you really are as a business, what you believe in, and what you want to achieve.
These statements are usually established when a company is initially set up, as they are incorporated into the strategic plan. And although this may sound complex and only suitable for large companies with enough resources, this should be applied to anyone creating a business. With all its difficulties and complexities, the reality is that these statements can be easily overlooked. It’s an easy mistake to make, but it can definitely hurt your business in the long run.
It’s also important to keep in mind that this is an ongoing process, and you should review your statement from time to time. It’s crucial to ensure that the vision, mission, and values statements are still relevant in the current environment the business is in. Vision, Mission, and Values should always reflect the business, both its structure and culture, at any point in time.
A vision statement refers to any aspirations of what you hope your business will achieve and become. It’s about looking forward and creating a visual image of the ideal state you wish to achieve with your business. Essentially, your vision should reflect what you think your business will look like in 5 or even 10 years from now.
Finally, the vision statement needs to be inspirational and aspiration. It should challenge your employees and motivate them to want to be a part of and contribute to your business’s culture.
A vision statement shouldn’t provide specific targets but a board description of your business's value instead. An effective statement should be clear and concise and not longer than a short paragraph. When done correctly, your vision statement can help make the best decisions for your business.
The mission statement conveys to the stakeholders why the business exists, clarifying its purpose, and how it creates value for the market. It’s a concise explanation of what the business does and overall intention - the “what,” “who,” and “why” of a business. The statement also serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, and other stakeholders involved. In the end, the mission should allow you to define strategic goals for your business to achieve.
Defining the mission doesn’t have to be complex and difficult to understand. It should be a short and formal statement, easy to memorize, and specific enough that people quickly understand your business and its place in the market. It often includes a small description of the company, alongside its function and objectives.
Vision and Mission are often confused; however, they each have different purposes while at the same time supporting each other. Essentially the mission statement describes what your business needs to do to achieve the vision. It’s the roadmap for the business’s vision.
The values statement defines the moral direction, guiding not only the decision-making process but also attitudes and actions. It can establish a behavioral standard for how people should act, inside and outside the organization. The statement reflects the essence and identity of a business.
The statement should be composed of a list of the core principles and basic beliefs that guide and direct your business. To do this, you need to consider the unique values that move your business and culture.
Try to keep the list simple, limiting your core values to a maximum of five, so it’s easier to follow. And in the end, for a values statement to be effective, it must be applied and reinforced at all levels across the organization to be internalized in its culture.
The values statement differs slightly from both the vision and mission statements. The last two focus on the purpose of a business and what goals and actions want to achieve. And although companies need to focus on these technical guidelines, Values represent the foundation that makes a business run and prosper.