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7 Mission Vs. Vision Statement Examples In Government & Healthcare
See some of the best mission vs. vision statement examples and learn how these two foundational elements of your strategy fit together.
Organizations with clear mission and vision statements as part of a defined strategy are more successful. So, it shouldn’t be a choice of mission statement versus vision statement—these are two pieces of the same puzzle you’ll fit together when creating your strategic plan. Mission and vision have different, but important, parts to play for your organization. In this article, we’ll show you some of the best examples we’ve seen of the interplay between mission and vision in the government and healthcare industries.
Vision Vs. Mission Statement: Definitions
Two of our previous articles focused on mission and vision statements individually. To quickly recap:
Mission statements define why your business exists and why it’s important, including the problems you aim to solve with your product or service. The mission explains an organization’s plan for the present based on what it wants to achieve. Some are long, some are short, some are measurable, others aren’t—mission statements vary by industry but all should be unique and realistic.
Vision statements declare where your organization wants to be in the future, framed in an aspirational, forward-thinking manner. Visions should be creative, ambitious, and have a logical connection to the mission. This isn’t a road map (that’s what your strategy is for), but rather the destination based on your mission. Vision statements help organizations make strategic decisions, aligning effort with goals.
How can you tell the difference? Mission statements are more externally focused, telling the world why the company exists. Vision statements can have both an external and internal focus, guiding employee efforts and strategic decision making, as well as broadcasting your company’s grandest ambitions. In some cases, organizations use their own, slightly different definitions of mission and vision, but these statements will always have the company’s vision of a better future and language around what differentiates it from competitors. This is a critical first step to defining your strategy.
Qualities Of Mission & Vision Statements
While they are distinctly different, both mission and vision should:
- Inform strategic planning
- Inspire while still being achievable
- Highlight what’s unique about your organization
- Align with company values
As far as timing, both mission and vision are the first steps in defining your strategy. You can develop them in tandem or lead with your mission statement. We recommend the latter. Why? It’s a common pitfall to create a vision statement that’s too lofty and fluffy. If you start with the mission, you’ll have a more realistic anchor point for your ideal future state.
7 Mission Vs. Vision Statement Examples In Government & Healthcare
- Vision: “As one of the most progressive, small counties in the state, Hampton County seeks to uphold its…
- Vibrant Economy...
- Rural Quality of Life...
- And Sense of Community Pride...”
- Mission: “The mission of Hampton County Government is to provide quality public services in a timely and competent manner, and to work with the cooperation of the community and other local government units to create a vibrant and healthy physical, social and economic environment. Services shall be provided in a fair, respectful and professional manner consistent with available human, natural and economic resources.”
We condensed the vision statement, but you can see a clear tie with the three principles outlined in the mission. Notice the focus of the mission is to show what Hampton County’s government provides, whereas the vision shows what a thriving county aspires to. You can also see the language isn’t from a template—it’s tailored for a small rural county already proud of what it has accomplished, that wants to emphasize its continual focus on cooperation, efficiency, and service to its citizens.
Tri-County Health Department (TCHD)
- Vision: “Optimal health across the lifespan for the populations we serve.”
- Mission: “Promote, protect and improve the lifelong health of individuals and communities in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties through the effective use of data, evidence-based prevention strategies, leadership, advocacy, partnerships, and the promotion of health equity.”
TCHD is the largest local health department in Colorado and has clearly put time into differentiating its mission vs. vision statements. Words like “optimal” and “lifespan” make it clear that TCHD’s vision is broad and aspirational—the organization aims for the best over decades. The mission then reiterates “lifelong,” listing the focus of TCHD’s activities in conjunction with results it wants to achieve. You can see how the vision and mission align, and easily imagine how the mission statement could translate into goals in a strategic plan.
- Vision: “Self-sufficient families in safe and healthy communities.”
- Mission: “The mission of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services is to work in partnership with the community to promote and protect the health and social well-being of Houstonians.”
This is one of the more interesting mission versus vision statement examples because it originates from a city department and is more specific than the overarching vision and mission of the city itself. This is not uncommon as it allows larger cities to narrow the focus of mission and visions within specific arenas.
In the case of Houston, the vision is very brief, but the mention of self-sufficiency is unique. This last phrase hints that the department is focusing its efforts on programs and services that foster citizens’ independence in attaining safe and healthy outcomes. The mission centers on partnering with the community—deliberate wording that suggests cooperation and goodwill.
- Vision: “Our local government will be nationally known for its transformative efforts that make Kansas City the diverse and sustainable community of choice for people to live, work, and play as a result of its safety; vibrant neighborhoods; business, educational, and cultural opportunities; connectedness; and vitality.”
- Mission: “The mission of the City of Kansas City, Missouri is to deliver quality, customer-focused municipal services with an emphasis on public safety, neighborhood livability, job creation, responsible planning for economic growth, infrastructure improvements, transportation systems, public health, and the environment. In pursuit of this mission, we use data to make decisions and measure progress based on economic, social, and environmental factors.”
Both are longer statements, but each serves its distinct purpose without being repetitive. The vision statement describes Kansas City’s ideal world and uses ambitious phrasing like “nationally known” and “transformative.” The mission statement echoes the elements emphasized in the vision, particularly the customer focus, but also includes how the city will achieve its mission, with a focus on data-based decisions and measurable progress. This is a classic example of the lofty, future-focused vision and practical, present-day mission that helps to direct strategic decision making.
Is your city’s strategic plan missing a vision? Or mission? Read about 8 important elements your strategy must have to be successful.
- Vision: “Mayo Clinic will provide an unparalleled experience as the most trusted partner for health care.”
- Mission: “To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.”
Mayo Clinic is internationally renowned for its quality of care, which is mirrored in its wording of these statements. The mission strikes a nice balance of aspirational and practical, with phrases like “hope” and “best care” grounded by the mentions of the clinic’s three operational focuses that will help it achieve its aims. The vision manages to address both patient experience and clinic reputation, while still being high-reaching and forward-thinking.
- Vision: “To accelerate progress against catastrophic disease at a global level.”
- Mission: “The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.”
St. Jude’s mission statement is well-crafted for many reasons. It’s action-oriented and weaves in a mention of the organization’s core value based on the founder’s vision. That value has a direct tie to how the hospital will achieve its mission. The vision is inspiring and ambitious, but doesn’t promise something it can’t deliver—the focus is on “progress” versus eradication. Both statements use the word “catastrophic,” linking the mission and vision and clarifying the focus of the organization.
- Vision: “To be a regional, national, and international leader in oncology nursing care and services.”
- Mission: “The mission of Fox Chase Cancer Center is to prevail over cancer by marshaling hearts and minds in bold scientific discovery, pioneering prevention, and compassionate care.”
Fox Chase is a good mission vs. vision statement example because it uses different language in each, without confusing the two. The mission is creatively written, using phrases like “prevail” and “marshaling hearts and minds” that infuse energy and ambition into the statement. It also outlines the three areas it will focus on. The vision statement is briefer and centered on leadership, making it clear that this is its “destination.”
It’s important to note that mission and vision statements are usually paired with core values, which help employees and leadership alike align their work with the standards and desired outcomes of the organization. Once you have your mission, vision, and values solidified, it’s critical to weave all three into the operations of your organization. And remember, don’t let these statements sit and gather dust. Incorporate them into company communications and review them regularly to make sure you’re on track and keeping everyone engaged.