You’ve probably heard about mission and vision statements before, but it can sometimes be tough to figure out the difference between your mission and vision. And it's harder still to figure out how to put these concepts to work for your practice.
At the Veterinary Economics Managers’ Retreat in Baltimore, consultant and editorial advisory board member Shawn McVey explained that your vision statement should explain what your practice would look like if everything were perfect. “What would your team do and how would you do it? This vision is what you’ll always be shooting for,” McVey said. For example, the vision McVey developed with the team at Eye Care for Animals is “to improve the lives of pets and their human families.”
In contrast, he says, your mission statement will change every one to three years. In your mission statement, you identify a clear and compelling accomplishment that will be the focus of your team’s efforts. To get to your vision, what do you need to do? The goal you set with your mission should be achievable, but your team should need to stretch to achieve it.
Editors note: At the Veterinary Economics Managers’ Retreat in Baltimore, held in conjunction with CVC East in April 2008, Shawn McVey shared strategies that managers can use to clarify their teams’ goals and improve communication. Click here for information on future programs.