Importance of Vision and Goals
Seneca, a famed rhetorician during the reign of the Roman Empire once said, "If a man does not know to which port he is heading, then no wind is favorable." Though people who would take the quote literally would argue that the said saying refers to early navigators who ventured the waters without sonar and GPS, the same can be applied to real life --- and pretty much in business organizations and other endeavors.
The winds were the ancient ships' propeller. It can be an ally, or a friend. A northward wind would be welcomed greatly by north-bound vessels while a south wind would steer them off-course. The same can be said with a company's infrastructure. A company without a mission and vision is a ship with no clue to which port it intends to make a landfall. In a more metaphorical sense, the mission is the ship's reason for existing, the vision is the direction the ship is heading, and the goals are what the ship is trying to deliver along the way until it reaches the port.
Vision is a statement that defines what a company wants to achieve as an organization. A company selling candies would likely have a vision that goes "to be the best candy factory in the world."
Goals are the things a company deem it must do to achieve that vision. These goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. With the same candy company aiming to best candy factory in the world, one goal can be "create candy products and other sweets that will cater to the needs of the public." How they are going to create those candies depends on their strategies.
The vision and goals of a company are more than a mantra; they are the catalysts to success.