"What's the vision statement of Tata Motors?" T.J. asks. "And how did they come up with it?"
When I first answered this question for T.J. in 2010, the vision statement of Tata Motors Limited, India's largest automobile company, was to be "best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value system and ethics" - a vision statement I criticized on two grounds;
1) it's rather meaningless. Chanting "We want to be number one" would be just as inspiring; and
2) it's not a vision statement at all, but a mission statement.
What's the difference? A mission statement articulates a company's purpose. It announces to the world at large why your company exists.
A vision statement focuses on a business's future; it articulates your dreams and hopes for your business.
Think of it this way; a mission statement answers the question "Who are we?" and the vision statement answers the question "Where are we going?"
Since then, however, Tata Motors has gotten their act together and has come up with a distinct mission and vision statement that follow the rules:
Their mission statement: "to be passionate in anticipating and providing the best vehicles and experiences that excite our customers globally."
Their vision statement: to be "most admired by our customers, employees, business partners and shareholders for the experience and value they enjoy from being with us".
(By the way, obviously mission and vision statements are not the only things that Tata Motors gets right. The company had consolidated revenues of USD 34.7 billion in 2012-2013. Read more about Tata Motors here).
Businesses need both mission statements and vision statements, the first to inform the public and the latter to inspire themselves.
Does your small business have a mission statement and a vision statement? These resources will help you write one or both if you need to or give you sample mission statements and sample vision statements you can compare yours to to see if yours needs a little sprucing up.
Writing a Mission Statement or Vision Statement
Sample Vision Statements and Mission Statements
And More Samples
Image (c) Tim Robberts / Getty Images
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