While every business has a mission, few realize its importance and even fewer define it.
If you want to put that assumption to the test, the next time you go to your favorite store/shop/service provider, ask the person you’re conversing with, “By the way, what’s (company name’s) mission?”
Did you receive a clear response? Try the same experiment at your own organization. How would you rate the outcomes?
What exactly is a mission statement? Is a mission statement necessary?
Why should your business have one? What good is a mission statement?
Who cares about the mission statement? What role does “vision” play?
Putting the middle first and believing that the simplest answer is typically the best, let us combine the concepts of vision and purpose into a single “mission” statement.
This will save you (and your team) hours of agonizing wordsmithing over arguably two sides of the same coin.
And, in any case, strong mission statements are aspirational and infer vision.
Who? What? Why?
Who has “ownership” of the mission statement? While senior management may assist develop it, the leader – the CEO – is the advocate of your organization’s mission statement.
When the mission statement originates from the top, it carries the weight of the organization’s senior-most position as Chief Missionary.
The CEO is the organizational Moses, with only one law to remember! (Toga optional)
A mission statement concisely expresses the organization’s true and aspirational reason for existence.
A solid mission statement describes the organization, what it does in general, and who it does it for.
This example of a consumer products firm has an aspirational aim as well: “Organization name (who) will deliver branded products and services of outstanding quality and value (what we do) that enhance the lives of the world’s consumers (why) today and for future generations.”
This mission statement is a single declarative sentence, as is any effective mission statement.
To some extent, good mission statements are open-ended.
They do not confine the company to a single path or final result.
Mission statements may and do change, but they should give the business freedom to grow.
What use does a mission statement serve other than as a placeholder on your website?
Great CEOs and executives understand the value of mission statements as one of the most potent management, marketing, and financial weapons in their arsenals, much as generals from Alexander the Great to George Patton recognized the necessity of a battle banner. Your mission serves as a rallying point.
Your mission statement communicates to every person in your business exactly what your organization stands for and what you – and they – do collectively and individually. It condenses your management vision into a single phrase that everyone in your business can recall and act on.
Your mission statement explains everyone, from the top down, how they fit in and what they can do to help the mission succeed. Your mission statement is the rallying point for your team, the touchstone of your corporate culture.
When decisions must be made, it serves as a guidepost indicating which road to choose. When your team engages in whack-a-mole mode, it can assist in determining what comes first and what can wait.
However, the significance of your goal statement extends beyond personnel.
It simply and concisely communicates to your suppliers, clients, contractors, and others what your firm is all about. It serves as your spearhead with investors, bankers, and others who support your company, reminding them of why they joined on in the first place.
Google the mission statements of a handful of your favorite companies, organizations, and rivals to see how they strike a chord with you.
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