What is Mission Statement?

A mission statement is a short statement of an organization’s purpose, identifying the scope of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization’s values or philosophies, a business’s main competitive advantages, or a desired future state the “vision”.

A mission statement is not simply a description of an organization by an external party, but an expression, made by its leaders, of their desires and intent for the organization. The purpose of a mission statement is to focus and direct the organization itself. It communicates primarily to the people who make up the organization its members or employees giving them a shared understanding of the organization’s intended direction. Organizations normally do not change their mission statements over time, since they define their continuous, ongoing purpose and focus.

According to Chris Bart, professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University, a commercial mission statement consists of three essential components:

Key Market: Who is your target client or customer (generalize if needed)?

Contribution: What product or service do you provide to that client?

Distinction: What makes your product or service unique, so that the client would choose you?

Bart estimates that in practice, only about ten percent of mission statements say something meaningful. For this reason, they are widely regarded with contempt.

The next step is to prepare mission statements. If the vision is “WHAT” of life, then the mission is “WHY” and “HOW”. It identifies the roles and activities to which an individual is committed and provides the overall direction for achieving the vision. Mission focuses on what you want to be and what you want to do- contributions and achievements. Mission focuses on the values and principles upon which being and doing are based. A personal vision needs to be clearly developed so that the mission statement can be based on it.

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I. These statements should clearly indicate the important roles and methodologies followed for fulfilling the vision.

II. Techniques and tools such as affinity diagram, brainstorming, fish-bone diagram, and surveys should be used.

III. Mission statements should realize the vision in action. Conduct a mind map to check whether it is really fulfilled.

IV. These statements will carry the information which needs to be fulfilled in the near future.

V. Time factor may be brought in to make it more systematic.

Mission statements are prepared to make the employees understand in clear terms “HOW” to achieve the vision and “WHY” all this has to be done. It is a ROAD MAP for achieving the vision. The mission statements act as a guiding force encouraging the individuals to work towards reaching the vision.

What is Purpose of Mission statement?

The sole purpose of a mission statement is to serve as your company’s goal/agenda, it outlines clearly what the goal of the company is. Some generic examples of mission statements would be, “To provide the best service possible within the banking sector for our customers.” or “To provide the best experience for all of our customers.” The reason why businesses make use of mission statements is to make it clear what they look to achieve as an organization, not only for themselves and their employees but to the customers and other people who are a part of the business, such as shareholders. As a company evolves, so will their mission statement, this is to make sure that the company remains on track and to ensure that the mission statement does not lose its touch and become boring or stale.

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North American magazine and website that carries news stories about entrepreneurship, small business management, and business, Entrepreneur explains the purpose of a mission statement as the following:

“The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community.”

It is important that a mission statement is not confused with a vision statement. As discussed earlier, the main purpose of a mission statement is to get across the ambitions of an organization in a short and simple fashion, it is not necessary to go into detail for the mission statement which is evident in examples given. The reason why it is important that a mission statement and vision statement are not confused is because they both serve different purposes. Vision statements tend to be more related to strategic planning and lean more towards discussing where a company aims to be in the future.

Here are what business leaders say a mission statement should do for a company:

“A good vision or mission statement will fill a few roles: It will be toothy enough to engage the media, analysts and other industry watchers. It will be aspirational enough to give employees something to reach for and bind them together in their day-to-day work. And it will be clear and specific enough to build the brand and affect public perception of the company. In an ideal world, it will even give your customers a sense that they’re buying into your vision when they purchase one of your products.” by Kyle Monson, a partner at Knock Twice hybrid creative agency.

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“A company’s mission statement is the cornerstone on which it is built. Its strategic plan and its culture are directly tied to the vision the mission statement puts forth. It is important that a mission statement supports the overarching goals and purpose of the company and explain why you exist as a business in a way that can be understood internally within the company and externally to consumers.” by Gerry David, president, and CEO of healthy lifestyle company Celsius Holdings.

“Creating a mission statement takes time and a lot of decision making. It lays down expectations for how your customers and employees will interact with one another, so take your time with it. Clearly, write down your vision of the company and ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’ Think about how you want others to perceive your company, what’s important to you and your organization, and then prioritize it. Most importantly, make sure it’s clear, concise and easy for anyone to understand.” by Bobby Harris, president, and CEO of Blue Grace Logistics.

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