The Mission statement serves as a guidepost for describing in brief but exacting detail the purpose for an organization’s existence. Used in conjunction with an organization’s Values, and Vision statements, the Mission statement declares who you are as an organization, why you exist, what you do, and whom you serve.
The Mission statement will focus on briefly defining the business problem being addressed and what the unique value proposition is that you bring to the market.
The Mission statement is aspirational in that it can never be fully achieved, yet is always driving towards a perfect state. In an effort to successfully achieve that future state, the Mission may briefly declare the business approaches that it intends to use in realizing its efforts. It may pose them as tools deployed with the intended impacts on a business condition. The Mission may declare the approach but does not outline the strategy.
The central components of a Mission statement focus on:
- Organizational purpose – Declaratory statements on who you are as an organization and why you exist. It reflects the basic beliefs, values, and philosophies that the organization espouses and practices (as reflected in an Organizational Values statement), as well as the intended sustainability (growth and profitability) path of the organization over time.
- Organizational practices – In an effort to activate the Mission, this statement will include key organizing principles that affect personal and collective behaviors, pivotal roles, tolls and technologies, and procedural tasks. It demonstrates both core and aspirational attitudes towards employees and will in turn, intentionally and collectively reflect and project not only the results and outcomes but also the organizational brand that faces the market.
- The intended market – The statement will outline the markets in which the organization will compete, who the intended customers are, and identify how those products and services make a difference in the lives of those consumers. Additional self-assessment will offer a clear picture of core organizational competencies and the distinctive competitive advantage that is resultant.
The Mission is not intended to be simply an outward, market-facing statement charged with the intent of projecting the organization’s core values and drivers to an interested public. It is also an internal tool that acts as a lever on the fulcrum of Values, for the purpose of elevating the Vision and ultimately enabling effective growth.