08 Apr The Zen of the Mission Statement
Companies are Like People They Need a Mission, a Purpose.
What is a company but a collection of minds? As the leader you have an idea of what you desire the company to become. As Scott Belsky said
This is the power of a strong mission statement. It allows you to break down the idea into actionable elements and creates a unified vision.
A Mission Statement
• Shapes actions and personality of organization
• Sets a goal for the business
• Informs employees, customers, and stakeholders the purpose of existence
• Gives employees a reason to work besides compensation
• Unifies team with a sense of identity
• States fundamental beliefs
• Serves as a foundation for company growth
This is one of the most important pieces of literature to write as a new business, but don’t get scared it is also simple and easy.
To craft your mission statement ask yourself who, why and what?
Who are You Writing the Mission Statement For?
• Business Partners
Why should they care?
This is an opportunity to work on your storytelling ability. Communicate your businesses core values in a way that sets the stage for all participating.
What is Your Radical Differentiation?
Jack Trout wrote in Differentiate or Die the best way to differentiate from your competition is to either be the first or be the leader. To be first is a matter of timing; to be a leader you must create a culture of innovation.
There are 10 areas companies can create innovation, outside of product/service. Map out the following areas for you industry and see where and how you can be innovative.
• The business model, or how the enterprise makes money.
• Networking, including organizational structure, the value chain, and partnerships
• Enabling processes, or the capabilities the company buys from others
• Core processes, or the proprietary methods that add value.
• Product performance, including features and functionality.
• Product systems, meaning the extended system that supports the product
• Service, or how the company treats customers
• Channels, or how the company connects its offerings to its customers.
• Branding, or how the company builds its reputation
• Customer experience, including the touch points where customers encounter the brand.
Tone of Voice is Greater Than Content of the Statement
Have you ever heard “10% of conflict is due to difference of opinion 90% is due to the wrong tone of voice”?
A great mission statement sparks the imagination of the reader. Though creative missions are easy to create, they are rarely embraced by corporate culture. Usually corporations get bogged down in bureaucracy and remove the essence of the statement. In the end, the statements will sound like this:
“Our mission is to be the leading global innovator, developer and provider of (insert industry here). As a team, we will achieve aggressive growth and a fair return for our shareholders. We will do this by exceeding the expectations of our customers.” We will do this by
• Being Innovative
• Being a leader
• Create value for our stakeholders
• Give back to the community
Snoozesville! All these statements say nothing.
Lets make this more fun, because that was a snoozer! With a little reworking: “be curious, imaginative, and courageous in challenging our current thinking.” Now that says innovation!
The real purpose of a mission statement is to help you form your why statement. The why statement is key to being radically different. For more information on your Why statement check out Simon Senek’s Ted Talks below! http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action