The difference between mission, vision, strategy and tactics

Having worked with boards and CEOs of hundreds of organisations, I am often struck by the challenges of making the distinction between mission, vision and strategy. This is a very crucial distinction, not least as retaining a clear focus on all three, at the right time, is so important to ensuring an organisation thrives and does not get ‘lost at sea’!

An organisation that loses sight of its overarching purpose, and fails to create and reinforce a compelling vision, can become much less strategic over time. This tends to happen in declining organisations that are fighting to survive or have become complacent. CEOs of these organisations tend to readily become distracted (enticed!) by a whole host of tactical opportunities. These are organisations that slowly and steadily become overly reactive to the currents, storms and endearing ports along their voyage.

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