It is important for a corporation to have clarity of vision because the organization can stay focused and not wander off into unrelated areas that arises as a result of opportunities or apparent synergies. Without a vision, people fall into the activity trap. They end up cutting stone when they should be building the temple. Keeping the eyes focused on the destination is important at the employees level also because the specialization of tasks makes it impossible for the job itself to provide the compete picture. As one CEO commented vision is the hallmark of an enlightened forward looking organization. Enlightened people in an organization need a passion that they can follow with missionary zeal. People give their lives for a flag, a vision brings out that kind of commitment. A vision statement keeps people on the right track, when everyone believes in its ability to take the firm ahead of competition. Faced with the lack of consumer acceptance of its new products, Cadbury was forced in 1994 to devise a product strategy for winning back customers. From that imperative arose its vision of being a company that provides value for money. For its people that translated into a target of cutting costs sufficiently to ensure that the company could offer more for the same price and still retain its margins. Devoid of vision, the cost cutting might have been received cynically and with mistrust by employees. By knowing the company’s ultimate objective, they worked as a team for results. According to Jim Roberson the then CEO, When we are doing badly the vision reminds us of what we are trying to do. And in good times it will tell your people who they are. That is why only the short – sighted ignore the value of the vision. Good vision statements inspire people to give their best. They help in creating a shared sense of purpose. They compel people to take risks experiment wit ideas stretch their energies and take others along in a relentless pursuit to scale new heights.
Organizations are founded for a purpose. Although the purpose may change over time, it is essential that stakeholders understand the reasons for the organization’s existence, that is, the organization’s mission. The mission describes the organization’s values, aspirations and reason for being. It reveals the long term vision of organizations in terms of what it wants to be, where exactly it wants to go, and whom it wants to serve. According to Thompson The mission reflects the essential purposes of the organization, concerning particularly why it is in existence the nature of the business it is in, and the customers it seeks to serve and satisfy it is a kind of visionary statement a dramatic picture of what the company wants to become and grand designs of the firm’s future. The mission is generally expressed in a broad manner it is likely that it can be ever achieved completely.
The mission is an enduring statement of purposes that distinguishes one business from other similar firms. It identifies the scope of its operations in product and market terms. It implies the image the firm seeks to project and reflects the values and priorities of the firm’s strategic decision makers . The obvious purposes of a mission statement is to give a public announcement to insiders and outsiders about what the firm stands for, what makes the firm different ( instead of stating the obvious) and a more effective competitor. Firms which succeed long term are those which create competitive advantages and sustain their strong positions with flexibility and improvement.
Source: Strategic Management