4-keys-to-any-powerful-mission-statement

4 Keys to A Compelling Mission Statement

‘Strategy making’ can impact the positive directions for companies and people by asking them to state where they want to go.

When done properly, a good mission statement aligns all areas of an organization toward a single-minded purpose. But when done poorly, mission statements can just as equally alienate people.

Here are some ideas reflected from about 50 mission statement examples collated from the world’s best companies. These points may still be debatable but they could sum up the benchmark for crafting a good mission statement.

What Makes the Best Mission Statements:

  1. Simple

‘Simplicity is beauty,’ they say. The outstanding mission statements are simply simple. They’re made of common words to convey powerful purposes in a clear manner. There isn’t too much puffy language, or cliché words. They succeed in the ‘sniff test of authenticity,’ or to put it simply, they do not appear as if a Dilbert Generator created them. For example, Trip Advisor’s mission states “help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.” Simple yet very effective. Right?

  1. Compelling

Awesome mission statements are persuasive. They illustrate a common purpose that people can aim for. Nike is renowned for its mission statement which is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*If you have a body, you are an athlete).” This mission is powerful since it’s not only an inspiring statement, but also something ordinary people can relate to, because Nike has involved each and every one of us as the target.

  1. Measurable

Now this is a complex one … The best mission statements usually offers some sense of a target to win, or at least a standard that can be measured against. We hear many companies say they aim “to be Number 1” or “become the undisputed leader”, but these statements are a bit mundane. Subtle measurement of missions like Amazon’s statement, which is, “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices” is very perceptible. First, can customers get whatever they want to purchase through Amazon? Second, can they purchase it at the lowest price possible?

  1. Continuously Relevant

Great mission statements also has to stay constantly relevant. For instance, Google’s mission is, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This statement supports the company in assessing what businesses it is in, and what new markets it could possibly yield. For example, services like Google Maps, Google Scholar, Google Books and even YouTube are all in line with this mission statement. What would be fascinating to watch out for is whether this mission statement conforms to support its strategy as Google invades new eras (e.g. driverless cars).

Additionally, the mission statement for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA): “To collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and stimulate appreciation for and advance knowledge of works of art that collectively represent the broadest spectrum of human achievement at the highest level of quality, all in the service of the public and in accordance with the highest professional standards” follow this criteria, too.

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2 Comments

  • ‘Desiring perfection and achieving excellence’ – a mission statement from one of our previous businesses. A simple but effective way of securing the best in every facet at every time. Our customers are always seen as the premier focal point and if they perceive excellence in what we provide we have matched our mission.

  • ‘Desiring perfection and achieving excellence’ – a mission statement from one of our previous businesses. A simple but effective way of securing the best in every facet at every time. Our customers are always seen as the premier focal point and if they perceive excellence in what we provide we have matched our mission.

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