Mission statements connote large corporate cultures and may be viewed as things of the past. However, mission statements should be alive and well in every organization, even if they never leave the doors. In fact, the best mission statements are intended to never leave the doors. According to experts, one reason mission statements fail to inspire and guide is because they are commonly written for other people, not for real company use.
Consider that a well-constructed and thoughtful mission statement, one well understood by the entire team, can be a navigator for daily activities and overall goals for the most important people to the business-the employees themselves.
One of the buzz phrases in marketing right now is “know who you are and what you do.” While this sounds simplistic, it takes introspection to hammer it down. This is the first exercise of formulating an authentic mission statement.
Two main types of mission statements
Company mission statement: A company mission statement will likely be broad but can differ from large corporations to that of a small business. Typically, the leadership team, CEOs or founding members come together to formulate in an articulate manner why they started this whole gig in the first place.
Does your company have a mission statement? If so, is it used as a daily guidepost for activities in alignment? Is it time to dust it off? What would you do differently in composing a company mission statement if the intent was for it to stay within the walls of the company?
Writing a mission statement
Answer these four questions to rewrite your in-house company mission statement:
1. What do we do?
2. How do we do it?
3. Whom do we do it for?
4. How do we do it?
Foundation client services: Most solid businesses have one or two foundation services they lean on providing to clients: flagship products for which they hope to be known. In addition to a broad company mission statement, it is very helpful to design mission statements around those key services.
A good example of this would be a content marketing mission statement for an agency committed to providing effective and valuable content marketing to its clients. While they certainly provide other services, such as website design, if content marketing is at the crux of the business, it deserves its own mission statement. Two big distinctions between the company mission statement and the foundation services mission statement: the latter will be more specific and will involve team members outside leadership. In this context, a well-written mission statement will give ongoing guidance to projects around the goals of providing this service.
As a team, brainstorm these questions to formulate a foundation service mission statement. Remember, the most effective mission statements are meant for team member use.
1. Who is your core audience?
2. What do you give that audience that is of value?
3. How do you help your audience succeed?
4. Why do you do what you do?
5. How are you different from other companies in your space?
The new year is coming and it’s a great time to dust off an old mission statement or develop one for areas where one is not in place. Have a great one? Give yourself a shout out and let us see it. We’re interested!