Quality Management Guide

Step 1: Vision, Values And Mission Statement

Successful businesses have a clear purpose, set goals and establish ways of doing things. This section is about understanding and establishing what your business stands for and where it wants to go.


A vision is a highly personal thing – is often comes from one person, rather than being the product of a consultation exercise.

It’s the kind of passionate, vibrant idea that you can enthuse others with. To be truly successful, a vision has to be reflected and communicated in what you do and way you do it.

If you don’t have a vision for your business, it may be time to stand back for a few minutes and think. A powerful vision:

  • is a clear and passionate statement or picture that shows people how you see the future
  • is personal – if you don’t believe in it, neither will others
  • can be adapted – even the strongest visions may have to change over time or in response to changing market conditions.


Values are what you and your business stand for – they are a set of guiding principles by which you operate. Values are also the building blocks for developing relationships with your people, suppliers and customers.

The clearer you are about your values and the better they are communicated and understood, the less time you are going to spend putting in place procedures and controls to make sure things happen in the way you want them to.

The simplest way to draw up a set of values is to speak to your staff, clients and suppliers and ask for their views. Once the survey is complete, see whether there are any common values.

Mission Statement

A mission is a cause that unites and inspires a group of people into action. In simple terms, a mission statement answers the question: why are we in business?

Your mission statement should:

  • describe the purpose of your business
  • identify what your business defines as success
  • inform and inspire employees
  • define what success looks like.

A mission should encourage ownership, passion and commitment. The language of a mission needs to personalise your cause – concentrate on using ‘we’, ‘we are’, ‘we do’. Most of all, a mission is a public statement that people can communicate and get behind.

For this to happen, it needs to be:

  • succinct – so it is understandable to everyone
  • focused – on the customer and specific to your type of business
  • directional – so it explains what you are trying to accomplish
  • active – ‘deliver high-quality services’ not ‘the delivery of services of high quality’
  • relevant – to everyone in the organisation.
This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004
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