The Importance of Writing a Mission Statement
A strong mission statement is a powerful tool for all organizations. The mission conveys company values and assists both customers and employees in understanding the goals, objectives and values of the business.
The mission of the Center for Family Business Excellence (“CFBE”) is to provide family owned businesses with leading-edge tools, training, coaching, support and other resources to ensure the successful transition from one generation of business leadership to the next. The Center assists businesses in maneuvering through the often complex (and emotionally charged) challenges of transition planning to ensure you, your family and any unrelated partners can realize their personal and professional goals. When working with our clients, we often use the company’s mission statement to help to focus our efforts.
According to Smither, Houston, and McIntire (2016), having organizational members collaborate and write their mission statement results in positive self-examination of the goals and values the company strives to achieve. The following steps will help mission statement developers deliver the best outcome.
- Involve Everyone – The mission statement generally starts at the top with the executive leadership team. However, it is strongly recommended that a large population of the workforce give their input. Focus groups are an efficient and successful technique which teach the employees how the mission statement is developed and provide them a comfortable venue to give feedback and suggestions for change.
- Allow for customization – Departments within the organization may want to customize the mission statement to reflect more specific goals and objectives unique to their function. Customization should be encouraged within the parameters of the main statement and the overall goals of the organization.
- Expect resistance – It is expected that some employees will show resistance. The organization should encourage employee feedback. Their desire to include their input -- and share its importance -- shows a level of commitment to and involvement in their workplace.
- Keep the mission statement short – The mission statement should be meaningful, concise and memorable. A few select words can convey a powerful message to all stakeholders.
A well-crafted mission statement is often a source of guidance and pride for the organization and a useful source of information for any outside professionals to use as the basis of any effective intervention. And, remember, it is just one part of a well-structured strategic plan – and planning is one of the most important foundational keys to success!
Smither, R., Houston, J., & McIntire, S. (2016). Organization development: Strategies for changing environments. Routledge.