Key Difference – Vision vs Objective
Vision and objective are two words that can sometimes be confusing although there is a key difference between the two words. A vision can simply be defined as a mental image for the future. In management, vision refers to a future position of an organizational body. This is the pinnacle of success for the organization. On the other hand, objective refers to a much more specific, quantifiable, detailed goal. The key difference between a vision and an objective is that while a vision can seem distant and broad, an objective is much more specific and easily achievable. This article attempts to clarify the difference between vision and objective with examples.
What is a Vision?
First let us focus on the word vision. As mentioned in the introduction, if you peruse through the dictionary you will notice that the word vision is defined as a mental image for the future. But in organizational settings, the word vision encapsulates a slightly different meaning. You may have heard of ‘vision statement.’ This is the future position of the organization. Most organizations have a vision that directs them towards a position that they wish to achieve. This is a very broad statement that tells the employees what the organization values and wishes to achieve or become.
For an example, an organization can aspire to be the best quality clothing provider in the international arena. This is an aspiration of the organization on the long run. In order to achieve this vision, the organization needs to have specific targets that will lead it to be the best.
What is an Objective?
An objective refers to a specific goal or aim. Unlike vision, objectives are much more clearly defined. They are very specific and can be achieved within a given period of time. A single organization can have a large number of objectives. In some situations, different departments can have different objectives that will finally align with the organizational vision.
Let us take a small example. The marketing division of an organization can have a special objective to increase the popularity of the brand image within six months through the introduction of a new marketing plan. This may include new advertising strategies, changes in packaging, price reductions, etc. As you can see this is an achievable target that is very specific and detailed. It has a time duration and a strategy. Having such objectives make it easier for the organization to achieve its vision.
What is the difference between Vision and Objective?
Definitions of Vision and Objective:
Vision: A vision refers to a future position of an organizational body.
Objective: An objective refers to a specific, quantifiable, detailed goal.
Characteristics of Vision and Objective:
Vision: A vision can be achieved, but it takes a considerable amount of time.
Objective: An objective can be easily achieved.
Vision: A vision is very vast and is comparatively long term.
Objective: An objective is specific and can be short term.
Vision: An organization has a single vision often known as the vision statement.
Objective: An organization can have many objectives.
1. “270 Park Avenue (WTM by official-ly cool 100)” by Wikipedia Takes Manhattan project on April 4, 2008 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Commons
2. “Brighton Churchill Square Shopping Centre” by JTA at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Liftarn using CommonsHelper.. [Public Domain] via Commons