In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Elements of a Meaningful Mission Statement 2. Characteristics of a Mission Statement 3. Example.
Elements of a Meaningful Mission Statement:
The mission statement should be a long-run vision of what the organisation is trying to achieve—the unique aim that differentiates it from similar organisations. The need is not for a stated purpose that would enable managers to feel good. Rather, the need is for a stated mission that provides direction and significance to all members of the organisation.
In developing a statement of mission, management must take into account three key elements: the organisation’s history, its distinctive competencies, and its environment.
Every organisation, large or small, profit or non-profit, has a history of objectives, accomplishments, mistakes and policies. These critical characteristics and events of the past must be considered in formulating a mission.
2. Distinctive competencies:
These refer to the things that an organisation does well— so well, in fact, that they are an advantage over similar organisations. Prima facie, an opportunity may be there but the organisation must have the competencies to capitalise on it.
‘An opportunity without the competence to capture it is not really an opportunity for the organisation’. For example, Proctor and Gamble, engaged in health-care products, could probably enter the ‘synthetic fuel’ business but such a decision certainly would not take advantage of its major distinctive competence.
The organisation’s environment dictates the opportunities, constraints, and threats that must be identified before a mission statement is developed.
For example, technological developments in the communications field (such as long range picture transmission, closed-circuit television, and the television phone) may have a negative impact on business travel and certainly should be considered in the mission statement of a large motel chain.
Characteristics of a Mission Statement:
It is extremely difficult to write a meaningful and effective mission statement. An effective mission statement should usually focus on markets rather than products and should always be achievable, motivating and specific.
1. Market rather than products:
Traditionally, most organisations define their business in terms of what they make (‘our business is glass’). But over a period, when products and technologies become obsolete, their mission is no longer relevant. So mission should be stated in terms of serving a particular group of clients or customers and/or meeting a particular class of need rather than products or services the organisation is offering at present.
The mission statement should be realistic and achievable. It should open a vision of new opportunities but should not lead the organisation into unrealistic ventures far beyond its competencies.
For example, the mission statement “we are in the business of problem solving. Our business is to help solve administrative, scientific, and human problems” of an organisation manufacturing ‘office equipment’ sounds well and is appropriate.
A well-defined mission provides a shared sense of purpose ‘outside’ of the various activities taking place within the organisation.
A mission must be specific and provide direction and guidelines to management. In other words, ‘to produce the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost’ sounds very good, but it does not provide direction for management.
Example of a Mission Statement:
We shall be a value-driven group in the business of ‘EPC projects and PMC services’ in the fields of Food Processing, Cement, Petro chemical & Refinery, Oil & Gas, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Co-generation & Captive Power Plants and select special projects. We shall endeavour to synergise strengths of all groups of our company for delighting our customers through.
1. Quality products, services and safe practices,
2. Effective project and risk management skills,
3. Up-to-date integrated Information Technology,
4. Access to state-of-the-art technology backed by strong in-house R&D base, and
5. In-house manufacturing capabilities, and Innovative Financing.
We shall continue to provide reliable post-commissioning support and work towards promoting eco-friendly environment.
Example of a Mission Statement and Supporting Organisational Policies:
The mission statement of an organisation having sophisticated strategic planning systems, sometimes, includes major policies it plans to adhere to in the pursuit of its mission. Such policies establish the ground rules for the organisation in its relationships with government, customers or clients, suppliers, distributors and creditors.
An example of such a document is shown below:
It is basic purpose of this organisation, in all of its decisions and actions, to attain and maintain in the following:
1. A continuous, high level of profits, which places it in the top bracket of industry in its rate of return on invested capital.
2. Steady growth in profits and sales volume and investment at rates exceeding those of the national economy as a whole.
3. Equitable distribution of the fruits of continuously increasing productivity of management, capital and labour among stockholders, employees, and the public.
4. Design, production and marketing on a worldwide basis, of products and services that are useful and beneficial to its customers, to society and to mankind.
5. Continuous responsiveness to the needs of its customers and of the public, creating a current product line that is ‘first in performance’ and a steady flow of product improvements, new products, and new services that increase customer satisfaction.
6. A vital, dynamic product line, by continuous addition of new products and businesses and prompt termination of old products and businesses when their economic worth, as measured by their profit performance, becomes substandard.
7. The highest ethical standards in the conduct of all its affairs.
8. An environment in which all employees are enabled, encouraged and stimulated to perform continuously at their highest potential of output and creativity and to attain the highest possible level of job satisfaction.