Vision, mission, goals, objectives, tasks, strategy, tactics, and policy are the concepts that help the company to define their work in terms of culture, values, and ambitions, and present them to the world. However, quite often, the difference between these terms is quite vague and needs clarification. This paper aims to give definitions to the terms essential to organization management and establish the difference between them.
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Vision and Mission
Vision and mission are statements that define every company’s actions and prospects. Without these two statements, a business might lose direction, and its employees would find it difficult to get motivated. Moreover, they help to define the values and goals of the company. However, while both of the terms deal with the same issue, there is a difference between them. It is often misjudged, and as a result, these terms are used interchangeably.
The main difference between mission and vision lies in the temporal aspect included in each of these terms. The vision is focused on the future and what the company aims to become while the mission’s focus is on the present day and the companies’ actions today. To put it into different words, a mission statement serves to define and describe the company’s business and approach. In contrast, a vision statement tells about the desired position of the company. It is essential to combine them to represent an idea of the company’s progress and development.
Goals, Objectives, and Tasks
Goals, objectives, and tasks are essential parts of any company’s strategic plan. Starting from assessing the current state of affairs, strategic managers build a path towards achieving the company’s vision. To do this, the journey that would take a company to the desired outcome is determined by particular goals, objectives, and tasks. However, as with mission and vision, these terms are quite often confused with each other.
The difference between these essential strategic planning terms lies in their scope. A goal is the substantial, global outcome the company wants to achieve. The accomplishment of these goals impacts the achievement of mission and vision. On the other hand, an objective is a smaller outcome, which needs to be measurable and understandable. To reach an objective, a company must take even smaller steps. These steps are called tasks, and they involve particular actions that determine the success of a company in reaching its objectives and – ultimately – goals.
Tactics and Strategy
Tactics and strategy are close-bound concepts that are directly connected to goals, objectives, and tasks. However, the difference between them is their temporal aspect and the scope. Thus, strategy deals with long-term, overarching goals of the company and how they are planned to be achieved. On the other hand, the tactic is concrete and focused on smaller steps and details: specific plans, resources, precise measurements of costs and expenditures, and other practicalities.
Policy, Tactic, and Strategy
The strategy is a way how an organization wants to achieve its goals declared in its vision and mission. The tactic deals with smaller objectives and tasks that are needed to be implemented to reach the goals and make the strategy work. However, the policy is a set of rules and guidelines that the organization developed to make decisions. It serves as a basis for guiding actions, including those required to be done according to the company’s tactic.
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