Do your employees and customers understand your organization’s mission?
W. Clement Stone said…
“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.”
Clearly defining your mission helps you to know which opportunities to say “yes” to and which to turn down. It becomes your “energy umbrella.” Every opportunity under the umbrella of your mission is a wise investment of your organization’s energy and resources. Anything outside the umbrella will not resonate with what is important to your organization. It is a valuable tool to decide on what to expend precious resources.
“Clearly defining your mission helps you to know what opportunities to say ‘yes’ to and which to turn down.”
A mission statement is an umbrella proposition that should encompass all you chose to do. It defines the business you are in or about. A mission statement, well written, will answer the following questions:
- How do you choose to have people behave (most important core values)?
- Why is your organization here (core purpose; the heart of your mission statement)?
- What does your organization do (products and services you provide)?
- What results do you desire for your organization (beyond just making money)?
- Who does your organization serve (your customers)?
The key to crafting a good mission statement is to make it simple but not too vague. Make it heartfelt and not too heady. Make it unique to your organization so as to distinguish you from your competitors. Make it memorable and inspiring to all who read it.
Here are a few mission statement examples that may help get you started with creating your own:
Starbucks Mission: To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
Our TLC Mission: We help create cultures of character and success that inspire hope and awaken the greatness in people, organizations and communities—guiding organizations to get clear, get organized, get going, and get results.
When you have completed your organizational mission statement, consider asking your department managers to gather with their direct reports to craft each department’s mission statement. This exercise will help employees to become clearer about the scope of their service to the organization. Additionally, you will find it to be a meaningful and engaging employee team building experience.
I always recommend to my clients that they revisit their mission annually, because their organization needs to evolve as the needs of their target market changes. Your organization’s core purpose and core values should stand the test of time once you get them right. However, keep your mission like clay that you continue to mold as you get clearer on the business you’re in or about.
Enjoy igniting your enthusiasm and burning desire by creating or rejuvenating your mission statement.
Much success and fulfillment,
(Adapted from Chapter 4 of my new book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Read free chapters and learn more at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz .)