How to create your own mission statement
A mission statement is an articulation of a company’s purpose, announcing to the world at large why your company exists. To put it simply, a mission statement is a combination of what your business does, how it does it and why it does it, expressed in a way which displays the values of your company.
Why create a Mission Statement?
The key benefit and main reason for creating a mission statement is its overall organisational impact of keeping you on the right path. A clear mission statement acts as an invisible hand, guiding people in the organisation, allowing them to work independently as a collective towards company goals.
Checklist for success
A mission statement should be market orientated. This means that instead of focusing on products or services specifically, companies should focus on a more generalized role they play in their respective markets.
- Realistic - Ryanair is an effective airline which gets the job done when getting from A to B. However it is never going to be the most comfortable ride as it’s selling point is it’s low fares and cost efficiency.
- Original - Your mission statement should be unique to your company and no other. It will make it more memorable too.
- Strength-focused - Focus on what your company or organisation is good at, not what it could be good at.
- Motivating - Your mission statement should give the people something to believe in. Aim for a YEAH! Not a YAWN. Employees want to feel like what they do matters and customers want to have their values met.
Examples of successful Mission Statements
Before the changed it to the vague ‘Were in business to save our home planet’, The long-standing mission statement which drove them for 45 years was as follows: ‘Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis’.
This statement works because it combines their commercial values of high quality outdoors wear with their ideology of having a positive impact on the environment. It is realistic because Patagonia does produce high quality clothing with a focus on sustainable production. It is Original and is focused on their niche strengths in sustainability combined with high quality. And it’s motivating, the environmental cause is a noble one which most people will support and admire. Their success is shown by the evolution of their mission statement. They have grown into a bigger more integrated company and their vision has grown along with them.
One of the most successful technology and media brands around, Sony’s mission statement is rather short and to the point. Their most recent statement is as follows: ‘Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology’.
Sony’s mission statement may seem pretty vague but it actually suits the company perfectly. As they are such an established brand in the technological and entertainment industries, they can afford to make such bold claims. Their aim of filling the world with emotion through their many services is a realistic one. Since many people own their TVs or games consoles which have historically been successful in their connections to their consumer base, be it through games, movies or other forms of entertainment. As they are one of the only companies large enough to have a global reach, this also constitutes as original, while their strengths are their expertise and commercial power in the fields of creativity and technology. Lastly, is it motivating? The goal of filling the world with emotion is an aspiration for a positive impact which is something employees can undoubtedly get behind.
Probably the most influential environmental campaigning organisation in the world, famed for their actions which span across the globe. They campaign on issues such as global warming, deforestation, over-fishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues.
The mission statement held by Greenpeace is as follows: 'To use non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future'. This states their aims as the protection of biodiversity, the global environment and international peace. Whether or not the Greenpeace statement is realistic or not is dependent solely on the reaction it incurs. Their success in many of these motives has been well documented and they are certainly focusing in on their strengths. They are famous for their originality throughout their various actions, therefore, originality is something this mission statement has in abundance. The expansive following and publicity enjoyed by Greenpeace also provides a clear indication of the power their mission holds within their members and those aspiring to join the organisation.
A previous client of Mackman, OFFSHORE is a charity founded in 1964, providing life-changing sailing adventures with a focus on young people and vulnerable adults.
OFFSHORE's mission statement is as follows: 'Our charitable goal is to provide, through the medium of sail training, opportunities for young people and vulnerable adults to discover their sense of adventure, in the process developing transferable skills that will aid their educational, personal and social development'. This mission statement puts simply their aims and in-turn presents realistic goals to achieve. Their statement is precise and original to them. By making it easy to understand, they are making it easy for members and employees to identify with their aims.
Changes in your mission statement?
A company’s mission statement should provide a vision and direction for the company for the next 10-20 years. They do not change every few years or in response to every new change in circumstances. Still, a company must redefine its mission if that mission has lost credibility or no longer defines the company.
In conclusion, a mission statement is fit for purpose so long as it ticks these following boxes:
- It states the foundations on which your company exists.
- Is unique to your company.
- Is a memorable driving force, acting as a motivator to employees and customers alike.
- Keep it short enough to say in one breath. This will also increase its memorability.
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