Mission statement

A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation.[1][2] It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the "vision".[1][3]

A mission is not simply a description of an organization by an external party, but an expression, made by its leaders, of their desires and intent for the organization. The purpose of a mission statement is to communicate the organisation's purpose and direction to its employees, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. A mission statement also creates a sense of identity for its employees. Organizations normally do not change their mission statements over time, since they define their continuous, ongoing purpose and focus.[4]

According to Chris Bart, professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University,[5] a commercial mission statement consists of three essential components:[6][failed verification]

  1. Key market: the target audience
  2. Contribution: the product or service
  3. Distinction: what makes the product unique or why the audience should buy it over another

Bart estimates that in practice, only about ten percent of mission statements say something meaningful.[5] For this reason, they are widely regarded with contempt.[6]

Purpose

The sole purpose of a mission statement is to serve as a company's goal/agenda, it outlines clearly what the goal is. Some generic examples of mission statements would be, "To provide the best service possible within the banking sector for our customers." or "To provide the best experience for all of our customers." The reason why businesses make use of mission statements is to make it clear what they look to achieve as an organization, not only to themselves and their employees but to the customers and other people who are a part of the business, such as shareholders. As a company evolves, so will their mission statement. This is to make sure that the company remains on track and to ensure that the mission statement does not lose its touch and become boring or stale.

It is important that a mission statement is not confused with a vision statement. As discussed earlier, the main purpose of a mission statement is to get across the ambitions of an organisation in a short and simple fashion; it is not necessary to go into detail for the mission statement which is evident in examples given. The reason why it is important that a mission statement and vision statement are not confused is because they both serve different purposes. Vision statements tend to be more related to strategic planning and lean more towards discussing where a company aims to be in the future.

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