Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of poorly written mission statements. The steps to creating them, in my opinion accurately represented by the cartoon, quickly become one more activity that is turned into a repeatable process my some well-meaning consultant. Have you noticed what’s missing from most mission statements? Any kind of innovation and creativity. What is managements view on innovation if you don't apply it to something so critical as an organizations mission statement?
Wikipedia defines a mission statement as:
A statement of the purpose of a company or organization. It should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated.”
A mission statement typically contains 3 elements:
- Customer segment (who) – who is your target client/customer?
- Product/Service (what) – what product or service do you provide to that client?
- Differentiation – what makes your product or service unique, so that the client would choose you?
An example of one that includes all of the key elements:
McDonald's – “To provide the fast food customer food prepared in the same high-quality manner world-wide that is tasty, reasonably-priced & delivered consistently in a low-key décor and friendly atmosphere.”
- Customer Segment: The fast food customer worldwide
- Product/Service: tasty and reasonably-priced food prepared in a high-quality manner
- Differentiation: delivered consistently (worldwide) in a low-key décor and friendly atmosphere.
Rather sterile and boring. I would have thrown in “fun for kids and adults” – or maybe “laughter”.
Mission statements need to be aspirational. They empower teams to create raving fans by doing whatever it takes to meet the mission.
What are some of the most innovative/aspirational you've come across?