Many executives lose interest in them. Some communicators dismiss them. And a few people have called for their death. But a mission statement and its various counterparts — purpose, vision, core values — provides a brief description of a company’s purpose and answers why the organization exists for the publics it strives to serve.
As Philip Kotler once put it, the mission statement acts as an invisible hand that guides employees to work independently and yet collectively toward the same goals. It also provides a baseline of expectations that various publics will use to define their impression of the company. And, they can serve individuals too, whether or not they are made public.
So what makes a mission statement stronger? While there are various opinions and schools of thought, there are generally four common denominators that the strong mission statements share.
• It defines what the company does.
• It defines what the objectives are.
• It considers various publics.
• It differentiates the company.
For a broader perspective on how mission statements play a role in defining the intent of a company's communication and the measurement of communication, visit the newest addition to ROC
Here's a Corporate Mission Statement Generator, so Execs can save on the worthless retreats and man-hours, costs, hot air, etc., to develop a 'meaningful' one.
P.S. Here's an experiment that is the true acid-test of Mission Statement importance: Call every friend you have that works at a company with one . . . and ask them to tell you what it is. Good luck :) . . .
That is the first thing I laughed at when ask by a Ph.D. how he could get his employees to memorize it. :)
I wonder if that's what it would be like today . . . if we had employees recite the mission statement before the 'start of the shift'?
You know, the abuse of the concept of a mission statement is exactly why MBAs laugh about them.
Employees don't need to memorize mission statements. However, it might be a good idea for them to know what the company does, e.g. the MBAs at Peanut Corporation of American seemed to forget the part that weren't supposed to just process peanuts ... they were supposed to process them safely.