Mission and vision are important aspects of the company’s corporate image. However, their role is not limited to communicating the company’s intentions. When accompanied by sound planning, mission and vision improve the performance of the organization on several levels and increase the effectiveness of managerial practices.
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Fundamentals of Planning
Mission and vision statements serve as articulations of the company’s goals and objectives and identify the approaches it chooses to achieve them. Also, it is used to communicate the values and intended purpose of the business and its areas of commitment to its stakeholders. A properly constructed mission and vision statement have a direct impact on different levels of organizational performance as well as the efficiency of the managerial practices.
Most notably, a formulated vision improves the employees’ understanding of the company’s goals. Individual workers will have a better idea of what the organization intends to do and can decide whether they are willing to participate in the corporate effort. Such clarity has a direct impact on individual performance since it allows for a better focus on specific tasks and improves a sense of direction (Kirkpatrick, 2016). Besides, it has a positive impact on the success of HR management, as it assists in finding the most fitting applicant and decreases the chances of inconsistencies and conflicts later in the course of action. Most notably, vision and mission provide a sense of direction on all levels of organizational hierarchy, thus enabling the management to maintain consistency in leadership practices. Finally, it assists the lower-level managers in team management activities by translating the overall goals into doable tasks and milestones.
A good example of an effective vision and mission is one from IKEA. Their vision is “to create a better everyday life for the many people” (Grant, 2016, p. 37). Their mission, on the other hand, provides a detailed description of strategies they use to achieve their vision and includes the desired qualities and characteristics of their products, such as functionality, superior design, and affordable price (Grant, 2016). In this way, it communicates its intentions to both customers and employees and streamlines the company’s internal operations, thus improving the performance.
To ensure that the mission of the organization is fulfilled, it is necessary to plan the company activities. The most common types of planning are strategic, tactical, and operational planning. Strategic plans are the closest to the vision and mission and are intended for the top managerial levels. Their goals usually target an entire organization and focus on the long-term effect (Wilson, Hill, & Glazer, 2013). These plans are then used to guide the planning process on the lower levels of the organizational hierarchy.
Tactical plans are intended to support the strategic plan by providing specific strategies and setting measurable goals. Tactical plans are usually developed for specific departments and require a higher degree of specialization. They also outline the areas of responsibility for meeting certain goals (Wilson et al., 2013). Overall, tactical plans align with the scope of operation of middle-level management.
Finally, operational plans contain specific instructions and guidelines for teams and individual workers. These plans are the most detailed and focused of the three and have used specific outputs and routine task results as goals. Operational planning is important to ensure the procedural performance of teams and individuals and determine the performance on the level of individual employees and lower-level managers (e.g. team leaders).
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As can be seen from the information above, each type of planning is oriented at a certain organizational level, which reflects its impact on performance.
Grant, R. M. (2016). Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition (9th. ed.). West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Kirkpatrick, S. A. (2016). Build a better vision statement: Extending research with practical advice. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.
Wilson, R., Hill, A., & Glazer, H. (2013). Tools and tactics for operations managers (collection). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.