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The Mission Statement

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A mission statement is the specific definition of what the company is, what the company does and who it serves with its operation. This statement specifies the point of view of a leader, regarding the direction and purpose of the organization. For many corporate leaders it's a vital part of their effort to motivate employees and provide them with a sense of priorities. Mission statements often raise a number of important questions:

  • What is the purpose of the organization?
  • What does the organization have that makes it unique?
  • What are the main products and markets?
  • What are the values ​​of the organization?
  • In what position do you expect to be in five or ten years?

The challenge is to extract all this in very few concise paragraphs that are memorable for those with an interest in the company and that will motivate them in the required direction, at all times of their working life.

A miswritten mission statement can easily be turned into a blurry, idealistic and smooth image. It's very likely that this jargon doesn't stimulate the imagination that tries to establish the company's services in a market.

Many companies underpin their mission statements with a catchy slogan, something that doesn't aspire to answer the questions detailed above, but acts as a quick and simple guide to what the company really is. It's possible to take the best of each of these at different levels and thereby fulfill numerous purposes.

Three main benefits are attributed to mission statements:

  • They can help companies focus their strategy by defining some limits within which to operate.
  • They can define the dimensions according to which the company's performance will be measured and judged. By excellence these are generally the utilities. Likewise, corporations often recognize their responsibility towards other shareholders, by mentioning their attitude towards employees or towards customers.
  • They can suggest standards of individual ethical behavior, such as promoting environmental protection, human and civil rights, fighting animal testing, etc.

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