Why, How, What/Where

Purpose, Mission, Vision

Too often when advising clients on change and how to focus on the content we discussed in the Bee Ready For Change workshop and subsequent follow-up sessions, I am asked the difference between purpose, mission and vision. I have a simple explanation. Please read below. (I thought I would add values to the equation too). I hope this article helps you and clarifies things for you to enable you to take your organisation to where it needs to be.

You begin with purpose (why). It’s why your organisation has decided to make a difference. is really important. Why are you in business (other than money)? In other words, what are you doing for someone else?

is the “philosophical heartbeat”. Why it matters.

Purpose guides.

Purpose does not change but it inspires change.

is about sharing a dream that fuels passion.

Purpose instils ownership. It connects with the heart and mind.

Your mission (how) follows the path your organisation sets to arrive at – its destination: it is what you do, the path you choose to follow, the decisions you make to get to your destination. The mission-driven path will be direct, and you’ll be doing what really matters. That’s how you get from one point to another. A mission statement describes what the organisation is all about – what business the organisation is in (and what it isn’t) both now and in the future, whom does it serve, the benefit for stakeholders and why it exists.

Vision (what or where) is your destination, at a point in the near or distant future. It’s your goal, and what you expect to find when you arrive at the destination. A vision statement is what the organisation wants to become, where it wants to go. It is a picture of the desired future, where leaders see the business in 3,5,10 years from now. Inspires and motivates. A vision is where we aspire to be. It keeps us on course to fulfil our purpose. A vision statement simply needs to be something that everyone can clearly understand and that people are honestly excited about, that they can believe in and are committed to.

Value statements (guide) outline the core beliefs, behaviours and commitments of an organisation. They are from the values, systems and behaviours of the leaders and employees in the organisation.

The values tell them how to behave. A value statement outlines the core beliefs, behaviours and commitments of an organisation.

Values are the code of conduct. Values give everyone …

A sense of dignity

A shared credo

Values determine …

How people feel about your organisation

How people interact with clients

Leaders need to ask this question often :

“Do we value doing the right thing?”

Without the company can lack soul.

This for me is the crucial questions a leader should ask:

“Where are we taking this organisation?”

It’s not

“What are we going to do?”


“Who do we intend to be?

“Leadership is the capacity

to translate vision into reality”