The Strategist

Company's mission: What is yours?

03/26/2021 - 02:42

Chances are your company already has a mission statement. Perhaps it adorns the walls of your office or, conversely, it sits on a shelf or in a desk drawer somewhere. If this is the case and you haven't seen or heard anything about your mission statement in a long time, it's time to review it.
Unlike a vision and strategy, which can be achieved over time, a mission cannot be fully realised. It is like a beacon that you navigate but don't get too close to. Think of the mission as the compass that guides your company. Like a compass that will save you if you get lost in unfamiliar terrain, a strong mission will be your guide in troubled times.

Consider some of the features that make a mission effective and long-lasting.

1. Simple and clear language

Peter Drucker said that organisations make one of the most serious mistakes when they turn the mission into a "mush of good intentions". There are thousands of different statements, but this is one of the best. Concise, vivid and, most importantly, completely accurate. Every time you share it with an audience, the audience nods approvingly or chuckles embarrassedly, as if to say: "You can't argue with that".

2. The ability to inspire change

Although your mission doesn't change, it needs to drive change within your company. It should move your organization forward by encouraging positive change or growth. Consider Walmart's mission statement: "We help our customers save money to make their lives better." Retail will probably look very different in 100 years, but it's safe to say that people will always be looking to save money.

3: Focus on the future

Formulate a mission for at least 100 years. Strategies may change, but the mission must remain the foundation of your company, the basis for all decisions in the future.

4. Simple and accessible.

There's no room for fancy words in the mission. The mission has to be written in simple words that everyone understands unambiguously. A compelling and memorable mission statement speaks to people intuitively, appeals to them and motivates them to serve the company's goals.\

Here is a simple template for the mission. You can use it to draw you company’s mission even if you have never had this kind of experience before.
  • We exist to (key objective, what needs are being met or what task is being solved);
  • We exist for (key customer);
  • We exist to (main business line)
  • In this way, we (long term result that marks your success)
Based on “Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs” by Paul R. Niven and Ben Lamorte

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