27. May 2020

A vision gives guidance – even in times of crisis

By Riccardo Giacometti

A good vision can create the identity and the necessary guidance framework. A good corporate vision expresses:

  • Why do we do what we do today?
  • Where do we want to be in five to ten years?
  • What would always be important to us even in an economic crisis situation?
  • What values would we pursue even when the company is at the mercy of turbulent times?
  • What would we hold high even if it were an (apparent) competitive disadvantage?

When it comes to vision, mission, and mission statement, people have a certain perception. Everyone wants the same thing. But not everyone speaks the same language. In an organization, there are often different views on vision, mission, or the meaning of mission statements.

Thus, I have summarized what the vision, mission, and mission statement are.

Visions are formulated through stories about the future

The vision describes the future of your company. In it, you will find the “why” in why your business exists today and why people should get involved in your business in the future. The vision uses images and wishes. It expresses a change that you want to achieve with your organization.

Values are translated into missions

The mission aims to invoke certain emotions. After all, people should be motivated to act. It implies the values of the company and briefly describes the “what” (purpose) and “how” (values) the organization wants to achieve the vision.

The mission statement is rather formal

It combines the principles of vision, mission, and values into a whole. Where and how your organization wants to act and what makes it different from other organizations. It is, therefore, much more about what should be than about what is already existing.

Important: A mission statement explicitly formulates the values and norms that should apply. These are then the guiding principles in the “We want…” version. They are intended to call for joint action and are suitable for a reality check.

Vision, mission, and mission statement

The most important differences at a glance:


What are the criteria for a successful vision?

  • Formulates the “why.” For example: Why do I want to work there?
  • Increases the identification of the acting persons in the company.
  • Expresses a change.
  • Creates a picture of the future.
  • Creates a sense of unity.
  • Is a fixed star — where your organization sees itself in 5 or 10 years.
  • Is ideally formulated briefly and clearly in one sentence.
  • Is absolutely essential for the development of goals, strategies, measures, and fields of action.


What are the criteria for a successful mission?

  • The mission answers the “how” question.
  • Uses the values of a company to describe how it reaches its mission.
  • The mission is contrary to the vision and formulates the purpose of the company.
  • The mission explains the core business in one sentence.
  • Builds on strengths and competencies.

Mission statement

  • Includes guidelines.
  • Has explicit values and standards.
  • Must be worked out.
  • Is rather rational.
  • Has an influence on the motivation for action via guidelines.
  • Affects consistency and principles of action.
  • Has a stronger inward effect.
  • Shows the strategic entrepreneurial framework to the outside world.

Good company visions and missions are credible, realistic, and motivating. For visions to be effective, success factors and risks must be taken into account. The company’s vision, mission, or mission statement are a simple and helpful orientation for employees and customers.

Vision, mission, and mission statement convey meaning to employees and customers.

A company can only be successful in the long term if its employees identify with its vision. You want to know what your company stands for and what difference its work makes. Employees want to contribute to positive goals, make independent decisions, and act independently. This is the basis of the emotional bond to the company, from which the commitment of the employees is derived.

A company’s strategies, plans, and measures will always change. Good managers regularly adapt them to fit general conditions, customer requirements, markets, and competition. In this way, they want to take advantage of the opportunities that are currently emerging and limit risks. They are flexible. However, they are always oriented towards the core vision of the company.


A Guide to Writing the Perfect Vision Statement (with Examples)

How To Write A Vision Statement (& Why That Isn’t Enough)

Simon Sinek – Start With Why

What Is a Vision Statement?

The Link Between Mission, Vision, and Strategy