What is a mission statement?
A mission statement primarily reflects a business’s long-term prospects in realizing the core mandate for its existence. In this context, a mission statement outlines an organization’s long-term plan/purpose upon which the why, what, and how of the enterprise is defined. A mission statement emphasizes core organizational principles, values, and long-term outlook over specific products/services a business offers.
For example, the ideal mission statement for a telecommunications provider would be:
To empower every customer and business by bridging existing communication gaps amongst individuals and organizations.
The above mission statement defines the why, what, and how of the telecommunications provider’s core mandate/purpose for existence as described below.
● Why the company exists, i.e., to provide communications services/products that bridge gaps amongst individuals and organizations.
● What the company does, i.e., provide telecommunication services/products to individuals and organizations.
● How the company plans to achieve its mandate, i.e., to avail telecommunications services/products to every customer and business.
Vision-Mission Statement Relationship
A mission statement is part of a business’s vision, i.e., a definition of the scale/scope of its plans to accomplish its core mandate. As with a mission statement, a company’s vision is not defined in product/service-centric terms but reflects core business principles, values, and outlook/perspective.
For example, an ideal vision statement for the same telecommunications company mentioned above would be:
To provide world-class telecommunication services/products that create business opportunities and social-economic growth at local and global levels.
Note that the vision above conveys a community and globe-centric business outlook. At the same time, the mission statement example focuses on would-be product/service users, i.e., individuals and organizations, e.g., complementary businesses such as distributors, suppliers, etc.
Role of a Mission Statement
As a means of elaborating upon a business’s vision, a mission statement fulfills two integral mandate-centric functions:
Enforce Positive Business Perception
A mission statement ensures that employees, shareholders, investors, complementary businesses, oversight bodies, and individual consumers can identify with a business’s principles, values, and long-term outlook.
In this regard, the mission statement example achieves this first outcome by portraying desirable core business principles as described below:
● Empowerment of every customer and business through telecommunications services/products, i.e., the provider offers products/services that address individual/organizational business needs.
● Identifying and resolving existing telecommunication gaps amongst individuals and organizations, i.e., providers avail solutions targeting existing telecommunications gaps.
Define the Corporate Strategy
A mission statement also outlines the corporate strategy at the core of a business’s mandate for its existence. Typically, organizational design is reflected in crucial business approaches mentioned in a statement, such as product/service deployment, marketing, development, etc.
In the case of the mission statement example, the telecommunication provider’s corporate strategy is:
● The empowerment of every consumer and business reflects the corporate strategy aspects of inclusion and social responsibility.
● Bridging existing communications gaps reflects organizational aspects of innovation, practice research, development, etc.
Note that a mission statement is nowadays synonymous with a purpose statement, whereby either statement defines a business’s core mandate, i.e., the why, what, and how of a business’s existence.