A vision statement is used to communicate a company's goals and aspirations in a single, concise sentence or paragraph, such as Oxfam's "A World Without Poverty" or Google's "To provide access to the world’s information in one click." A vision statement provides a high-level overview of a company's overall goals and ideas, and it usually focuses on broad definitions of success, providing employees with an ideal they can aspire to achieve.
A vision statement differs from a mission statement in that it takes a longer view of the company's goals, while a mission statement focuses on the present and outlines immediate goals and short-term focus. For example, a company's vision statement may answer the question, "What do we want this company to be in 10 years?" while a mission statement answers the question, "What do we do?"
Even though a vision statement has different goals than a mission statement, the two are often used in tandem while shaping a company's ideas and products. Google, for example, has a mission statement that says the company wants to "organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." By organizing information and improving access, the mission statement contributes to the vision statement's overarching goal of making that information accessible in one click.