Yes, it can be daunting to have to write a mission statement. But, with a little guidance, you can do a great job. Let us start with a basic understanding of what a mission statement is in the first place:
Definition of A Mission Statement
"It is a Statement that encapsulates the overriding purpose and objectives of an organisation.
It is used to communicate this purpose to all stakeholder groups, both internal and external and to guide employees in their contribution towards achieving it."
Source: Oxford Dictionary of Business
The Ultra-Quick Method
Several years ago, Scott Adam’s "Dilbert" had his own Mission Statement Generator which produced such classic beauties as:
"We have committed to synergistically fashion high-quality products so that we may collaboratively provide access to inexpensive leadership skills in order to solve business problems"
"It is our job to continually foster world-class infrastructures as well as to quickly create principle-centered sources to meet our customer's needs"
"Our challenge is to assertively network economically sound methods of empowerment so that we may continually negotiate performance based infrastructures"
Unfortunately this is no longer available online, but it did inspire many others to follow suit with "Online Generators"
But are these just-for-fun statements or do you need to formulate a real message about your company?
5 Things to Remember When You Have To Write A Mission Statement
It must be understandable to everyone. One recommendation I read was to do the “Grandma Check”. This means showing your Mission Statement after you have it written to your Grandma. If she can't understand it, then start over again.
A Mission Statement must be emotive. Its intention must be to inspire your employees, conveying to them a clear picture of the purpose and the goals of the company.
Keep It Real! Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Set standards with your mission statement that are achievable and reasonable.
Make sure you practice what you preach in order to keep the credibility of your statement. Otherwise, the whole thing has been a costly and worthless exercise, not to mention a lost opportunity.
Value alignment. By this I don’t mean financial values like “We will make our first Billion by the second year in business”. This is about expressing the core competence in your company, expressing what makes your company valuable to others.
5 Steps to Write Mission Statement
Collect as many ideas as you can. Try to include as many f your stakeholders as you can. Their opinion of your business is what gives you your business. It’s as simple as that!
Outline your business. Consider what role it plays in the industry, community, nationally or globally.
State the Key Values to which your business aspires or is dedicated to. Could these be values expressed by environmental, quality, innovation or customer approaches.
What are the Objectives the business has with the product or service you provide.
Set up a team to assimilate all the ideas you have gathered and finalise the statement.
Communicating Your Mission Statement
Give your Mission Statement high visibility. Make sure that your employees can see it every day - and identify with it.
Best Practice Example
Here is my example of Best Practice in how to write Mission Statement.
It is the company Lands’ End Inc., the direct order catalogue merchandiser that includes training for excellent customer service as one of its eight business principles.
Have a look at how they have achieved their excellent Mission Statement and how they communicate it:
Remember, employees and the public are very quick to see through a “Do as I say, not as I do” management, so make the whole exercise a fulfilling one and dont waste your and everybody elses time.
Martha and the Business Online Learning Team
You may also be interested in the following pages on the topic of communication.
Where you as an individual can find the right business training to upgrade your skill-set and get that promotion you want. Or where you, the business manager who needs to get staff trained effectively, can do so within very reasonable budgets.
And all this, backed up with so much reference material and support.
My name is Martha and I have worked for over 30 years in various aspects of business and in various countries, right around the world.
I have a Degree in Physics, a Master's Degree in Business Administration [Read More...]