Vision versus mission

I am often asked the difference between vision and mission.  Here’s my latest stab at the answer.


Vision and mission are closely related and as a result often used interchangeably.  The way I differentiate is that a vision is a state of being, a mission is how we do it. 


Vision = adjective, noun

Mission = adverb, verb


This is most easily distinguished in not for profit organizations.


Vision= No homeless in our city

Mission = With dignity and empathy, provide free and subsidized transition housing, medical care and training.  

I have no idea of the credibility of this website, but it is the one I refer to most often when I get this question, because it is the clearest and validates with my definition and use of these concepts.  

A mission is still a valuable attribute toward which you work.  It helps your team know how they should operate.  By operating in that way they are achieving a certain state of being.  (See how they can be interchanged?)  I think that in your case, this statement can be written as a state of being (vision format) if you so desire rewording it.   I am working with another team that has described their vision in this way.  “We will be a team that maximizes our capacity to integrate and innovate…..”  Still needs to some work, but will give you an idea that you can easily convert your actions to a state of being if you so desire.  

Jonathan Shaver