Having a clear understanding of your business's vision, mission, and values is essential for success. These three foundational ingredients form the cornerstone of a strong organizational culture and help guide decision-making, prioritize goals, and connect employees with a shared purpose.
But...what is the right order for these elements, and does it matter?
Depends on who you ask, and I definitely have my opinions (shared below).
First, let's define each:
Vision. Why are you here? What far-reaching aspirations are you focused on achieving?
Mission. What do yo do (based on strengths and passions)? How does the work get done?
Values. What rooted core beliefs frame the work? What does everyone believe?
Now, an example: Nike (duh).
Nike's vision is:
We see a world where everybody is an athlete — united in the joy of movement. Driven by our passion for sport and our instinct for innovation, we aim to bring inspiration to every athlete in the world and to make sport a daily habit.
Nike's mission is...not "Just do it."
Nike's mission is: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. [*If you have a body, you are an athlete.] This mission drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential.
Nike's values are:
Do the right thing
Be on the offense always
Create the future of sport
Win as a team
You'll notice allllll the key questions have been answered within their approach. and they follow a vision, mission, values sequence.
It's always curious to see the ways companies approach articulating their own missions, visions and values, and if you ask me, at the end of the day, the order in which you see these three areas online or in a strategic business plan doesn't matter as much as ensuring you actually articulate each one clearly (and then share of course).
Go ahead and Google five of your favorite brands and find the website content that describes their visions, mission statements and values. Carefully evaluate the language used to paint the pictures for what each aspires to have, be and do.
It will be fascinating to look at the words used for each and to see how each of three areas is visually and sequentially displayed.
Now...if I am making the rules...when writing an organizational strategic plans or helping a business owner or board set new business targets...I find it best to follow the Vision, Mission and Values sequence/approach. where each area builds on the next.
Yes, if you follow this sequence, you take an "inside-out" approach that provides a logical and coherent structure.
You start with the proverbial "Why?" (making Simon Sinek v proud along the way).
You then add in the details of "What" matters most and "How".
And you polish it off with a set of clear shared beliefs that define exactly how the teams shall show up, serve, and belong.
I think it just flows so nicely together in this order, don't you?
Check out a few more vision, mission, and values examples from brands who continue to captivate me:
To be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.
To bring Western back to its roots by creating fashionable jeans with a classic feel. We are leading the trend by taking our fashion industry background and blending it with our western roots to make western fashion current. We are where the fashion world meets the western world. We are western wear that transcends.
To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world's premier entertainment company
We are the western wear leaders of quality in style, product and service.
Dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.
Customer focus, innovation, and storytelling excellence
Superior Fit. Classic style. Western Uncomplicated.
Pride, humility, integrity, teamwork, honesty, service with LUV, efficiency, excellence, discipline.
What do you notice about these examples?
How do they resonate with you (or not)?
And most importantly...
What foundational language is important to your business or organization?
What clear targets have been established for you and your team via vision, mission, and values?
What's working well to stay connected to these areas? How can you up-level (and create even stronger culture)?
Take a moment to notice the thoughts that have unfolded for you, and please share a few insights with me in the comments.
And, as always if you need help with your organizationals foundational tools for success, please reach out today...because communication (like with words in missions, visions and values), is code for leadership!