(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, Endeavor Center, OSU South Centers)
by Tim Berry
I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy—which does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless. Which also happens, but not nearly as often.
What is a mission statement?
A good mission statement is useful tool for well-run business. It’s the “why” of business strategy.
A mission statement define a company’s goals in three important ways:
It defines what the company does for its customers
It defines what the company does for its employees
It defines what the company does for its owners
Some of the best mission statements also extend themselves to include fourth and fifth dimensions: what the company does for its community, and for the world.
Developing your company’s first mission statement, or writing a new or revised one, is your opportunity to define the company’s goals, ethics, culture, and norms for decision-making. The daily routine of business gets in the way sometimes, and a quick refresh with the mission statement helps a person take a step back and remember what’s most important: the organization has a purpose.