Mission and vision

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Mis­sion and vis­ion

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Mis­sion is an organisation’s rationale for exist­ing at all, long-term stra­tegic dir­ec­tion and val­ues; its basic func­tion in terms of the products and ser­vices the organ­isa­tion pro­duces for its cli­ents.

Mis­sion describes the organisation’s basic func­tion in soci­ety, in terms of the products and ser­vices it pro­duces for its cli­ents (Mintzberg).

Vis­ion is what we are aim­ing for.

Val­ues are how we should behave.

In a sense of mis­sion two altern­at­ive ways of look­ing at a mis­sion include:

- The strategy school views mis­sion primar­ily as a stra­tegic tool, an intel­lec­tu­al dis­cip­line which defines the business’s com­mer­cial rationale and tar­get mar­ket. It is the first step in stra­tegic man­age­ment. It exists to answer two fun­da­ment­al ques­tions: what is our busi­ness? And what should it be?

- A mis­sion is a cul­tur­al glue that enables an organ­isa­tion to func­tion as a col­lect­ive unit. It is a set of val­ues rather than a descrip­tion of ulti­mate com­mer­cial goals.

A broad­er defin­i­tion includes four ele­ments:

Pur­pose. Why does a com­pany exist, or why do its man­agers and employ­ees feel it exists?

- To cre­ate wealth for share­hold­ers, who take pri­or­ity over all oth­er stake­hold­ers;

- To sat­is­fy the needs of all stake­hold­ers;

- To reach some higher goal. This ele­ment includes both oper­a­tion­al and non-oper­a­tion­al goals.

Strategy. This provides the com­mer­cial logic for the com­pany and so defines:

- The busi­ness the com­pany is in;

- The com­pet­ences and com­pet­it­ive advant­ages by which it hopes to prosper.

Val­ues. These relate to the organisation’s cul­ture, and are the basic, per­haps unstated beliefs of the people who work in the organ­isa­tion. Mintzberg defines val­ues as ideo­logy, a means of con­trol through shared beliefs. A sense of mission/emotional bond is where employ­ees’ val­ues coin­cide with organ­iz­a­tion­al val­ues.

Policies and stand­ards of beha­vi­our. Policies and strategy need to be con­ver­ted into every­day per­form­ance. In ser­vice busi­nesses, this includes sim­ple mat­ters.

For there to be a strong sense of mis­sion, the ele­ments above must be mutu­ally re-infor­cing. Strategy and val­ues unite in policies and stand­ards of beha­vi­our.

Some people are scep­tic­al about mis­sion because it is emo­tion­al and not a wholly object­ive con­cept.

Val­ues and feel­ings are integ­ral ele­ments of con­sumer­s’ buy­ing decisions. There­fore there is no reas­on always to exclude these mat­ters from a company’s decision-mak­ing pro­cesses fur­ther up the line.

Most stud­ies into organ­isa­tion beha­vi­our show that employ­ees are motiv­ated by more than money. A sense of mis­sion and val­ues can help to motiv­ate employ­ees.

Many organ­isa­tions take the cul­tur­al aspect of mis­sion ser­i­ously.

Mis­sion fuels suc­cess for the fol­low­ing reas­ons:

- Loy­alty and com­mit­ment. A sense of mis­sion is felt by employ­ees who are will­ing to sac­ri­fice their own per­son­al interests for the good of the whole. This has to be recip­roc­ated by com­pany loy­alty to its staff.

- Guid­ance for beha­vi­our. A sense of mis­sion helps cre­ate a work envir­on­ment where there is a sense of com­mon pur­pose. In mat­ters of eth­ic­al con­flict, dis­son­ances between the organ­iz­a­tion­al val­ues and per­son­al val­ues are hard to resolve if a person’s val­ues dif­fer from the organisation’s.

Strong val­ues can be dan­ger­ous.

- They can fil­ter out uncom­fort­able envir­on­ment­al inform­a­tion;

- They can delay neces­sary decision-mak­ing.

Vis­ion

A stra­tegic thinker should have a vis­ion of what:

- The busi­ness is now;

- It could be in an ideal world;

- The ideal world would be like.

A vis­ion gives a gen­er­al sense of dir­ec­tion to the com­pany, even If there is not too much atten­tion to detail. A vis­ion enables flex­ib­il­ity to exist in the con­text of a guid­ing idea. It is the ori­ent­a­tion point that guides the com­pany in a spe­cific dir­ec­tion. A vis­ion should be clear.

A vis­ion is a view of the future state of the organisation/industry. It is encap­su­lated in a vis­ion state­ment.

The dif­fer­ences between mis­sion and vis­ion are as fol­lows:

- Mis­sion is about the here and now, where­as vis­ion refers to the future;

- A vis­ion which is too vague, and too far removed from cur­rent activ­it­ies, will fail to motiv­ate, where­as a mis­sion is designed to motiv­ate;

- A vis­ion, if achieved might lose its motiv­at­ing power, unless it can be rein­ven­ted;

- Some vis­ions fail to take into account the prag­mat­ic real­it­ies;

- Vis­ions can and do go out of date.

Mis­sion state­ments

Mis­sion state­ments are form­al doc­u­ments, which might be repro­duced in a num­ber of places. There is no stand­ard form­at.

Most mis­sion state­ments will include the fol­low­ing:

- Identi­fy the per­sons for whom the organ­isa­tions exist;

- Nature of the firm’s busi­ness;

- Ways of com­pet­ing;

- Prin­ciples of busi­ness.

Accord­ing to Guy Kawa­saki good mis­sion state­ments exhib­it three qual­it­ies.

- Brev­ity. Brief and sim­ple mis­sion state­ments are easy to under­stand and there is also evid­ence of clear think­ing;

- Flex­ib­il­ity. Flex­ible mis­sion state­ments can last a long time;

- Dis­tinct­ive­ness. Dis­tinct­ive mis­sion state­ment is a power­ful tool to help enable an organ­isa­tion to change to become more mar­ket-ori­ented.

Prob­lems with mis­sion

- Ignored in prac­tice;

- Pub­lic rela­tions;

- Post hoc;

- Too full of gen­er­al­isa­tions.

Cer­tain goals which organ­isa­tions pur­sue may under­mine mis­sion, because mis­sion becomes sub­or­din­ate to them. These include:

- Sur­viv­al;

- Effi­ciency;

- Con­trol;

- Growth.

These goals are inter­re­lated. Growth brings effi­ciency. Growth does not always bene­fit share­hold­ers and ful­fils the mis­sion but not always.

Enfor­cing mis­sion

Mis­sion can be enforced in the fol­low­ing ways:

- Form­al impos­i­tion;

- Shared val­ues;

- Value system/culture.

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Mis­s­joni u l-viżjoni

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Mis­s­joni huwa organ­isa­tionâ € ™ s ħsieb wara eżist­enti fil-liv­el­li koll­ha, id-direzz­jonil-valuri strateġiku fit-tul; fun­z­joni bażika tiegħu f’termini tal-pro­dot­tis-ser­vizzi l-organizza­zz­joni jip­produċi għall-klijenti tagħha.

 

Mis­s­joni jid­deskrivi l organ­isa­tionâ € ™ s fun­z­joni bażika fis-soċjetà, f’termini tal-pro­dot­tis-ser­vizzi li tip­produċi għall-klijenti tagħha (Mintzberg).

 

Viż­joni huwa dak li aħna qed jim­mir­aw għall.

 

Valuri huma kif aħna għand­hom iġibu ruħhom.

 

F’ċertu sens tal-mis­s­joni żewġ modi altern­at­tivi ta kif inħar­su lejn mis­s­joni jinklu­du:

 

- Il-mis­s­joni istrateġi­ja fehmi­et iskola primar­ja­ment bħala għod­da strateġika, dixxip­lina intel­lettwali li jid­definixxi l busi­nessâ € ™ s kum­mer­ċ­jali raġuni fun­da­ment­ali u l-mira tas-suq. Hija l-ewwel pass fil-ġest­joni strateġika. Hija teżisti biex twieġeb żewġ mis­toqsiji­et fun­da­ment­ali: dak huwa negozju tagħna? U liema għan­du jkun?

- Mis­s­joni huwa kolla kul­tur­ali li tip­per­met­ti organizza­zz­joni li jif­fun­z­jon­aw bħala unità kollet­tiva. Huwa sett ta valuri aktar mil­li deskrizz­joni tal-għan­iji­et kum­mer­ċ­jali aħħar­i­ja.

 

Definizz­joni usa tinkludi erba ele­menti:

 

Skop. Għaliex ma kumpan­ni­ja teżisti, jew għaliex man­iġers u l-impjeg­ati jħos­su dan jeżisti?

 

- Li jinħo­loq il-ġid għall-azz­jon­isti, li jieħ­du pri­jor­ità fuq kull partiji­et interessa­ti oħra­jn;

- Biex jissod­isfa l-ħtiġiji­et tal-partiji­et interessa­ti koll­ha;

- Biex jint­laħaq xi għan ogħla. Dan l-ele­ment jinkludi kemm l-għan­iji­et oper­at­tivi u mhux oper­at­tivi.

 

Istrateġi­ja. Dan jip­provdi l-loġika kum­mer­ċ­jali għall-kumpan­i­ja u għal­hekk jid­definixxi:

 

- In-negozju tal-kumpan­i­ja hija;

- Il-kom­pet­en­zil-vantaġġi kom­pet­it­tivi li bih tit­tama li jirnexxu.

 

Valuri. Dawn għand­hom x’jaqsmu mal-organ­isa­tionâ € ™ s-kul­tura, u huma l-bażiċi, twem­min for­si mhux dikjarata tal-per­suni li jaħd­mu fl-organizza­zz­joni. Mintzberg tid­definixxi valuri kif ideo­loġi­ja, mezz ta kon­troll per­mezz ta’ twem­min komuni. Sens ta mis­s­joni / bond emozz­jon­ali huwa fejn il-valuri ™ employ­eesâ € jikkoinċidu mal-valuri ta’ organizza­zz­joni.

 

Politiki u l-istand­ards ta mġiba. Politiki u ħtieġa istrateġi­ja li għand­ha tiġi kon­ver­tita prestazz­joni ta kuljum. Fl-negozji tas-ser­vizz, dan jinkludi kwist­jon­iji­et sem­pliċi.