When many companies were starting out or beginning a new phase in their growth strategy they wrote something called a “Mission Statement” which was aimed at inspiring management and staff to be the company they always wanted to be. It was likely posted on the company website or in the staff kitchen to remind people about the company’s aspirations, culture and ethics.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, over the years that Mission Statement blended into other noise on the kitchen bulletin board or was buried in an unread “About Us” section of the website.
It’s a safe bet that the majority of people in the company don’t even know
there is a Mission Statement.
Well, if you’re serious about the growth your business – with both clients and staff – it may be the perfect time to dust off the old Mission Statement and take a good hard look at whether it still describes the company you want.
Chances are it needs updating, maybe a little or a lot, and chances are you’re not exactly sure what the updated version needs to say. To be clear, updating your Mission Statement is not a quick and easy process – or at least it shouldn’t be. It is perhaps one of the most important documents you will create for your company. A good amount of analysis needs to go into the task to be sure that the final product is short (less than one page!), unambiguous, and inspirational.
A great Mission Statement should define how a company betters the lives of its clients, its staff, its owners – and its community. At the end of the day, that new Mission Statement will need to be able to concisely state for everyone: “This is why we’re here.”
What your Mission Statement should not be is a string of inspirational words that say nothing, as illustrated in this Dilbert comic:
Image: DILBERT © Scott Adams. All rights reserved.
In preparation for overhauling your Mission Statement or writing one for the first time start by asking your staff, senior executives, and even your clients what they believe your company means to them.
I’m not going to give you an example of a ‘good’ Mission Statement because that would set you up with someone else’s idea of what it should say. Instead, take a look at this a helpful article from Entrepreneur.com that outlines the process of analyzing and writing a Mission Statement. It will get you on the right track to think of a Mission Statement that defines you.
Remember to proudly display your completed Mission Statement throughout your company, refer to it at every Town Hall and board meeting, post a link to it on your website and include it at the bottom of every email, send a copy to your clients and to everyone who helped you get to the final product.
Keep it alive, and it will keep your company alive!
And just in case you’re wondering, individuals (especially entrepreneurs) can and should have their own mission statement. What would yours’ say about you?
I understand that writing a new Mission Statement can be a daunting process, so if you find that you’d like some help getting things started, my company is available to work with you to interview, compile research and create a Mission Statement that will rock. You can reach me at Jen@JenFritz.com for more information.