What is Mission?
A mission is a reason why an organization exists, dealing with what it does, and why it does. It talks about the present such as where we are, how we compete, and what makes us different leading to the future.
In short, a vision is the future of the organization and a mission is the means how to get the future of the organization i.e. vision.
The mission statement clarifies the scope and objectives of the business. The statement should deal with four concerns – how to serve customers, how to manage employees, how to increase shareholders’ return, and how to support the community not extending the words 250. It reflects the business’s special niche.
The strategic mission is more concrete than the strategic vision. The mission should be defined alongside the vision in strategic management. The organization’s mission is founded on its vision. It defines the industry in which the company plans to compete and service clients.
Like the vision statement, it should define the firm’s uniqueness and be motivating and relevant to all stakeholders. The strategies should be built on the foundation of the vision and mission.
- “Mission is the unique purpose that sets a company apart from others of its types and identifies the scope of its operations in product, market, and technology terms.” – Pearce and Robinson
- “An organization’s mission is the purpose or reason for the organization’s existence.” – Wheelen and Hunger
A significant number of people should be involved in formulating the strategic mission statement by the CEO and other top-level management. The fundamental reason for this is that the mission has a more direct touch with product markets and consumers, and middle and first-level managers and other staff have more direct contact with customers and markets.
Examples of Mission Statements
In simple words, the mission is the sum of products and activities an organization produces and does to serve its customers and strengthen its position to ultimately support the vision. Some examples of missions are presented below:
|Citizen Investment Trust (CIT)||CIT was established in order to expand investment|
opportunities by encouraging the general public to save
capital and bring dynamism to the development of
capital market in Nepal.
|McDonald’s||Be the first employer for our people in each community|
around the world and deliver operational excellence to
our customers in each of our restaurants.
|Coca Cola||To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit. To inspire|
moments of optimism and happiness through our brands
and actions. To create value and make a difference.
|To give people the power to share and make the world|
more open and connected.
|Microsoft||To enable people and businesses throughout the world to|
realize their full potential.
|Toyota||Toyota will lead the way to the future of mobility, enriching|
lives around the world with the safest and most responsible
ways of moving people.
A mission statement reflects the expectations of stakeholders. It makes a difference to others. It can be redefined if it loses its relevance.
Characteristics of Mission
An organization’s mission is the purpose or the reasons for its existence. The main characteristics or features of the mission statement are mentioned below:
Broad in Scope
The mission of an organization determines its scope. It answers, what is our business? In other words, it clears up the product and market of the business. It also provides a base for the formulation of goals and strategies.
A mission statement is always presented in a precise way. Normally, it includes not more than 250 words. As you can see in the above examples no company’s missions are more than 250 words.
It inspires all the stakeholders and encourages them to involve in the organization in a rigorous way. A well-written and feasible mission statement encourages people to contribute their effort.
It involves many components such as customer, product or services, market, technology, concern for survival, philosophy, self-concept, concern for public image, and concern for employees.
A mission statement makes the organization different from others. It helps in image building.
Components of Strategy
It involves the strategic components that are likely to be adopted by the business. It provides an early signal about the strategy that the business is likely to pursue.
Importance of Mission
The development and nurturing of the organization’s mission are one of the most crucial duties of a strategist. It serves as a foundation for strategic management, which includes strategy formulation, implementation, and oversight.
It corrects the gap between current performance and predicted results. It can be changed or redefined as necessary.
The importance of the mission statement is presented below.
- Brings Uniformity: It brings uniformity to the organization. It helps build synergy for goal achievement.
- Base of Resource Allocation: It provides a base for the resource allocation to different businesses or units of an organization.
- Develops Organizational Culture: It inspires all the stakeholders of an organization and helps develop organizational culture that supports the organizational goal.
- Enhances Employee Ownership: It enhances employee ownership in the organization and also increases their commitment.
- Defines the Business: It defines the business mainly in terms of products and customers.
- Reflects the Organizational Responsibility: It reflects the responsibility of the organization towards shareholders, employees, communities, social issues, and competitors.
- Shows the Operating Philosophy: It shows the operating philosophy of an organization in terms of quality, image, and self-concept.
Vision Statement Vs. Mission Statement
Following are some of the notable differences between the vision and mission statements of organizations.
A vision’s aim is to show where the organization wants to be in the future whereas, a mission’s aim is to show how the organization will get to where it wants to be.
A vision answer’s the question “Where do we aim to be?” whereas, a mission answer’s the question “What do we do? What makes us different?”.
Companies’ visions statement talks about the future whereas, missions statement talks about the present leading to the future.
A vision statement does not change even if the market conditions change whereas, a company’s missions statement change with the changes in market conditions.
A vision describes where the organization sees itself years from tomorrow whereas, a mission lists the broad goals for which the organization is formed.
A vision statement is shorter than a mission statement and vice versa.
Crafting a Mission Statement
A mission statement explains why a company exists. It also sets a company apart from its competitors, proposes future growth opportunities, and gives team members a common goal to strive for.
Following are the popular ways or techniques to craft a mission statement.
- Define the Purpose: It shows why the organization exists. It should be crafted to communicate the purpose of the organization in terms of market, product, and stakeholders.
- Make it Broad in Scope: The scope of an organization is determined by its mission. It answers the question, “What is our business?” In other words, it clarifies the company’s product and market. It also serves as a foundation for the development of objectives and strategies. As a result, it should include every key component of the business.
- Precise: It should be presented in a precise way. Normally, it includes not more than 250 words.
- Inspiring: It should be inspiring to all stakeholders so that they rigorously contribute to the organization.
- Distinctive: It should be different from other organizations. It should build a unique image than others.
The following are the important considerations to craft an effective mission statement.
- All managers, from the top to the bottom, should be involved in the mission development process. It increases employee loyalty to the company. It makes the strategy formulation and implementation easier.
- The managers should be asked to review related literature on the statements and craft a mission statement for the organization.
- The statements prepared by different managers should be merged into a single document and distributed the draft statements to all managers.
- A meeting of the managers is held for modifications, additions, and deletions if needed and to revise the document.
- As previously said, employee and manager involvement and support enhance strategy creation, implementation, and evaluation activities. As a result, the creation of a mission statement allows strategists to gain the necessary support from all employees and managers.
- To update and amend the existing statement, several organizations use group discussions. To help manage the process and design the language, an outside consultant or facilitator may be employed.
- After the preparation of the statement, decisions must be made about how to communicate it to all management, employees, and external stakeholders. A manager should communicate with all employees and external stakeholders in a clear and intelligible manner.
Hence, a mission statement of an organization is the purpose why the organization is formed, what types of products and services it provides, how it competes in the competition, and ultimately how it supports the organization to achieve its overall goals following the organization’s strategic direction.