TIPS OF WRITING EFFECTIVE MISSION STATEMENT THAT FITS WITH YOUR ENTIRE MARKETING STRATEGY
Many times you get into a company and the first thing that greets you is the receptionist and the companies' mission statement. The mission statement is either hanged in a huge board for all to see. It will also be on the top page of the brochure, which will be on top of the table at the waiting room.
To hang a mission statement for all to see is a great thing; however I have been reading many mission statements in my visits in many offices not in one country but in many and one thing come out clearly.
The mission statements of all those companies look the same, the only change is in different wording here and there, but they all generic, and no one is original. This prompted me to start studying anything written on mission statements and I am about to share with you some tips of what I have learned in my long search.
First, I think there is a lot of copy and paste when it comes to mission statements. Nobody wants to go back to the origin of mission statements and ask themselves whether that is the only way it can be written.
The other thing is that mission statements are written by the executives as part of the website and other office vintages, mission statements are treated like the doors, the interior decor and once they are written nobody in the organization ever refer or think about them anymore, they become like a memorial.
I have seen companies with mission statements indicating that their staff is the most valuable assets in their company and yet staff has gone on strike because of very justifiable issues. I have seen how in return the executive of those companies starting with the CEO treat the staff grievances and there is nothing about the staff being assets about it.
If you want to know that the mission statement is a creative work of some executives, ask any of the employees what their mission statement is and if you lucky to find anyone who knows what it is, they will recite it like a poem, a bible verse, their national anthem or a loyalty creed.
It is unfortunate that many mission statements are not executable and they mean less to the organizations they are made to guide; this is because they are just words that are hanged on wall as fad or fashion. It is just a trend that every office or business must have something called the mission statement, but why, very few know.
You do not want your mission statement to be like this, I am sure that you want your mission statement to be taken more seriously than your national anthem. If that is what you need, here are some few tips of how to achieve that.
To avoid all these problems of none adherence to mission statements, we need to write very effective mission statement and mean what we say. This easier said than done. But what is a mission statement?
A mission statement is guide to determine the basic business goals, culture and values of your business. It is written to help your business take a strategic position to exploit the available business opportunity. It is an enabler for your business success.
You mission statement must have your business philosophy for it to be taken in by the entire staff. It is part of branding because it must bring out your image and show the world what you stand for. Thus a poor written mission statement will affect how your brand is viewed.
For a mission statement to succeed it must have the following objectives:
• It must ensure uniformity and consistence of doing things in your business.
• It must act like a guide to create efficacy in the use of your resources through effective allocation and management.
• It must describe and help execution of your business culture and other values.
• It must act as a lighthouse that gives your business the ultimate direction.
• It must have synergy with entire strategic plan as it is the ultimate strategic tool.
• It must be looked at by the entire business as the anthem, or creed or mantra, because it is your organization's bible.
When making a mission statement, remember that it is core to your overall business strategy and objective. A mission statement must echo your business objective and if you find that it is not working in synergy, you then must change it. Remember it is not cast on the ark of covenant and that it cannot be adjusted.
A mission statement like the strategy is all inclusive; it is the glue that binds the different personalities and department of your business. To achieve this wholeness, involve everybody in you mission statement making and look for a way to accommodate as many as you can, after all they are the ones who will need to adhere to it. Have a referendum to vet your mission statement and have a tracking policy to see how far you are off the mark once in a while.
I have heard of business that hires agencies and other outsiders to make the mission statements for them, this is wrong. An outsider cannot define your business objective. Remember a mission statement is who we are, what we do, and how we do it and hence it is the heart of your business. How can a stranger even understand about your business?
You mission statement is so important to be left to strangers as it must include the following about your business:
• Your business goals and objectives.
• Your business philosophy.
• The description of your products and services in the shortest term possible.
• Your strengths, your values and other priorities.
Your mission statement must manifest itself in your company profiles. At times you read the company profile of a particular business and then read their mission statement and you can tell that they are as different as death and sleep. There must be no disconnect between the two. The mission statement and the company profile must echo the same theme, values, tools and other intrinsic of your business. Your profile is the executive summary of your mission statement.
Your mission statement is a product of your strategic formulation; it is a guide to all stakeholders of your business, who include your employee, your customers as well as the shareholders and the general public.
Your mission statements role is to help your business achieve its objectives and goals, for this reason it cannot be treated like a doormat by anybody, you have to fight for it. Before I finish this article I would like to tell you one African saying "the oilskin of a homestead cannot be used by strangers" this means you mission statement is very important to be left to strangers at all.
Always remember that without an effective mission statement, you are like a ship that has lost its direction.