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Mission

These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission...to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Gene Roddenberry  Star Trek television series


Whereas vision is what an organization aims to become or be like, ‘mission’ is what an organization must concentrate on doing to meet major objectives (probably related directly or indirectly to its vision). To some extent, a vision may never actually be realized. However, a mission is practical - it’s the major activity that the organization must start doing now to move forward.

Whereas an organization can have only one central vision, there could be a choice of missions. For example, a farmer could have the vision of  “a highly productive farm, to hand on to my son”. His mission might therefore be “to improve the soil by better drainage”, or  “to save money and buy a better farm somewhere else”. A mission:


Is an activity
- The UK Government's mission for the 1980's:  'to change the UK into a competitive and deregulated economy'.


Should go to the heart of major problems
- Ford’s mission when it acquired the then troubled car manufacturer Jaguar: 
'to dramatically improve the quality of components and the reliability of the cars'.


Should aim to achieve a goal with a recognizable measure of success in a specified time
- President Kennedy 1961 (mission for NASA): ‘achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth’.


Should involve a number of participants
- Arts Centre:
‘to develop long term relationships with exhibitors, patrons, and sponsors'.


Should not state what is required anyway
- 'To work hard, provide satisfaction to our customers and give value for money.’  - we thought that this went without saying for every organization!  >>>