Confused Mission Statements – NEVER Combine These Planning Terms With Strategy
Pull up your mission statement.
What does it say?
Let’s see. Can we answer this question. Why would a CEO take time in charting a new path of handling sudden change? Most often than not, it is due to internal or external factors that combine strategy with different planning terms.
How Does the Policy Statement Affect the Trajectory of a Business?
Setting strategic direction is the most important role of a leader in an organization.
Don’t business development strategist recommend to break organization’s goals and challenges into manageable chunks? This is a strategy that helps many business leaders climb out of the tactical weeds of the business. Entrepreneurs cope with the complexity of running a business.
Businesses view challenges as very complex problems. The primary reason being; they are not easily solved without breaking them down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
When faced with a daunting challenge, save tons of money. First keep your sanity as you grapple with tough decisions about what to do next. Then, break it out into small pieces and go after them one at a time.
Master Mission Statements
A business mission is the foundation for priorities, strategies, plans, and work assignments. It is the primary guide in the business for team members and stakeholders.
But what happens when it’s not clear, succinct or focused?
Well, it will inevitably lead to trouble. The reason? People not knowing where they stand in relation to each other and their priorities.
What a costly business development strategy? Everyone is not on the same page.
Aligned Declaration of Principles
Can we deduce the starting point for the design of managerial jobs? More so, for the design of managerial structures? The answer is having an effective strategy conversation aligned with the mission statement. Nothing may seem simpler or more obvious than to know what a company’s business is.
A steel mill makes steel. A railroad runs trains to carry freight and passengers. An insurance company underwrites fire risks. A bank lends money.
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Why Business Leaders Mull Over Conflicting Challenges Instead of Fast Facing ’em Head On
Actually, “What is our business?” is almost always a difficult question and the right answer is usually anything but obvious. The answer to this question is the first responsibility of strategists.
Only strategists can make sure that this question receives the attention it deserves. Because the answer has to make sense. It enables the business to plot its course and set its objectives.
Questions that a Manifesto Answers
Asking the question,
is synonymous with asking the question,
- An extraordinary enduring statement of purpose that distinguishes one organization from other similar enterprise is golden.
- Magnetic mission statements are declaration of an organization’s “reason for being.”
- It answers the pivotal question, “What is our business?”
A clear mission statement is essential for effectively establishing objectives and formulating strategies.
“Without goals, training has no direction.”
– Natalie Coughlin
Top 7 Business Blunders from Plummeting Platforms
A messed up mission statement can cause unnecessary conflict that can jeopardize each person’s motivation and effort levels.
And it’s likely that the business will under perform. Why? There are a number of reasons, but here are the top seven:
- Confused team members: On-the-ground employees have no idea where they stand. Its null and void in relation to each other or in terms of the organization’s priorities. Team dynamics can change dramatically. How? As people try to guess their way through trying to figure out their priorities and tasks.
- Confounding communication channels: Since the mission statement is messed up, communication channels inaccurate information flows
- Baffled stakeholders: The business community will be confused as to what the priorities are and when tasks must be completed.
- Confusing work assignments: Picture this. Team members are not able to match the identity of the firm with reality of the environment. How does the business operate?
- Confusion among employees: In this scenario, the employees will have no idea what each other is doing. Secondly, none knows where they stand. None can comprehend this in relation to what they are tying to achieve and how to achieve these goals. This will make it difficult for team members to communicate and work together effectively.
- Bewildering business plans: As the external environment changes, opportunities change as well. A confused business plan contributes to the abandonment of possibilities. This is especially true when they do not resonate with the goal and identity of the enterprise. In this case, what do you think happens? You walk up to any employee and none is able to respond to these two questions. “Goal: What are you trying to achieve?” “Strategy: How are you going to achieve it?’
- Scattered strategies: Strategy is not tactic. Strategies are abstract and long term while tactics are tangible but short term. Strategy is not identity. Identity asks the question, ‘ who are we?’ but strategy answers the question, ‘what do we do?’
“All the men can see the tactics I use to conquer. But what none can see is the strategy out of which great victory is evolved.”
What a disaster if the mission statement is not clearly written out and consistently communicated. The resultant effect? All primary stakeholders and team members channel the organization’s resources as a matter of chance.
Elements of a Mission Statement that Never Leave Strategy to Chance
Mission statements can and do vary in length, content, format, and specificity. Most practitioners and academicians of strategic management feel that an effective statement should include nine components.
Remember, a mission statement is often the most visible and public part of the strategic-management process.
9 Certified Characteristics of a Marked Down Mission Statement
Thus, its a strong form of differentiation at the core. It is, therefore, important that it includes the nine characteristics as summarized below.
1. Customers—Who are the firm’s customers?
2. Products or services—What are the firm’s major products or services?
3. Markets—Geographically, where does the firm compete?
4. Technology—Is the firm technologically current?
5. Utmost regard for survival, growth, and profitability—Is the firm committed to growth and financial soundness?
6. Philosophy—What are the basic beliefs, values, aspirations, and ethical priorities of the firm?
7. Self-concept—What is the firm’s distinctive competence or major competitive advantage?
8. Concern for public image—Is the firm responsive to social, community, and environmental concerns?
9. Care for employees—Are employees a valuable asset of the firm?
Strategy is a Commodity, Execution is an Art.
– Peter Drucker
Great Statements of Action
A good mission statement describes an organization’s purpose, customers, products or services, markets, philosophy, and basic technology. A mission statement should:
- Define what the organization is and what the organization aspires to be.
- Be limited enough to exclude some ventures and broad enough to allow for creative growth.
- Distinguish a given organization from all others.
- Serve as a frame work for evaluating both current and prospective activities, and
- Be stated in terms sufficiently clear to be widely understood throughout the organization.
Superior mission statements reflect the anticipations of customers. Is there a better strategy rather than developing a product and then trying to find a market?
Of course. The operating philosophy of organizations should be to primarily identify customers’ needs. Subsequently, then provide a product or service to fulfill those needs.
Cases or Examples of Mission Statements
Our mission is to be recognized by our customers as the leader in applications engineering. We always focus on the activities customers’ desire; we are highly motivated. Advancing our technical knowledge in the areas of material, part design and fabrication technology (LNP, a Plastics Company).
For an entrepreneur, there is nothing as worse as not creating distinct value. You must run a different course than the competition.
As a firm’s most important and prominent strategic leader, the CEO, is responsible for getting off the beaten path. His obligation is to work with others to form the firm’s vision for operational effectiveness.
It is important for the CEO to do this because with a clear vision and strong leadership, you can make almost anything happen like self-made millionaire Madam C J Walker.
- Drucker, P. (1974). Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, and Practices. New York: Harper & Row
- McGinnis, V. J. Cox; K. K. (1982). Strategic Market Decisions: A Reader. Paperback
- Stock photos credit (istockphoto)
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Do not to miss out on Part 6 of the next post. We continue the Solid Strategic Formulation Process series: ‘Developing a Vision Statement From a Customer Perspective.’
Adapted from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/messy-mission-statements-part-5-thextraordinarionly/, where the article first appeared.