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Mission statement

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Title: Mission statement  
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Collection: Business Terms, Statements
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Mission statement

A mission statement is a statement which is used as a way of communicating the purpose of the organisation, although most of the time it will remain the same for a long period of time, it is not uncommon for organisations to update their mission statement and generally happens when an organisation evolves. Mission statements are normally short and simple statements which outline what the organisation's purpose is and are related to the specific sector an organisation operates in.

Properly crafted mission statements (1) serve as filters to separate what is important from what is not, (2) clearly state which markets will be served and how, and (3) communicate a sense of intended direction to the entire organization. A mission is different from a vision in that the former is the cause and the latter is the effect; a mission is something to be accomplished whereas a vision is something to be pursued for that accomplishment. Also called company mission, corporate mission, or corporate purpose.[1]

The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated." It is like a goal for what the company wants to do for the world.[2]

According to Dr. Christopher Bart,[3][4] the commercial mission statement consists of three essential components:

  1. Key market: Who is your target client or customer (generalize if needed)?
  2. Contribution: What product or service do you provide to that client?
  3. Distinction: What makes your product or service unique, so that the client would choose you?

A personal mission statement is developed in much the same way that an organizational mission statement is created. A personal mission statement is a brief description of what an individual wants to focus on, wants to accomplish and wants to become. It is a way to focus energy, actions, behaviors and decisions towards the things that are most important to the individual.


  • See also 1
  • Purpose of a mission statement 2
  • Mission statement vs vision statement 3
  • Advantages of a mission statement 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

See also

Purpose of a mission statement

The sole purpose of a mission statement is to serve as your company's goal/agenda, it outlines clearly what the goal of the company is.[5] Some generic examples of mission statements would be, "To provide the best service possible within the banking sector." or "To provide the best experience for all of our customers.". The reason why businesses make use of mission statements is to make it clear what they look to achieve as an organisation, not only to themselves and their employees but to the customers and other people who are apart of the business, such as shareholders. As a company evolves, so will their mission statement, this is to make sure that the company remains on track and to ensure that the mission statement does not lose its touch and become boring or stale.

An article which can be found here explains the purpose of a mission statement as the following:

"The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community."[6]

It is important that a mission statement is not confused with a vision statement. As discussed earlier, the main purpose of a mission statement is to get across the ambitions of an organisation in a short and simple fashion, it is not necessary to go into detail for the mission statement which is evident in examples given. The reason why it is important that a mission statement and vision statement are not confused is because they both serve different purposes. Vision statements tend to be more related to strategic planning and lean more towards discussing how where a company aims to be, it is more focused on the future.

Mission statement vs vision statement

The definition of a vision statement according to BusinessDictionary is "An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action. See also mission statement."[7]

It is not hard to see why a lot of people confuse a mission statement and a vision statement, although both statements serve a different purpose for a company.

A mission statement is all about how an organisation will get to where they want to be and makes the purposes and objectives clear, whereas a vision statement is outlining where the organisation wants to be in the future. Mission statements are more about the current times and tend to answer questions about what the businesses does or what makes them stand out to the competition and vision statements are solely focused on where the organisation sees themselves in the future and where they aim to be. Both statements may be adapted later into the organisation's life, however it is important to keep the core of the statement there such as core values, customer needs and vision.[8]

Although it may not seem very important to know the difference between the two types of statements, it is very important to businesses. This is because it is common for businesses to base their strategic plans around clear vision and mission statements. Both statements play a big factor in strategic planning for a business. A study carried out by Bain & Company shows that companies which have clearly outlined vision and mission statements outperform other businesses who do not have clear vision and mission statements.[9]

Advantages of a mission statement

Provides direction: Mission statements are a great way to direct a business into the right path, it plays a part in helping the business to make much better decisions which can really benefit them. Without the mission statement providing directions, businesses may struggle when it comes to making decisions and planning for the future, this is why providing directions would be one of the most advantageous points of a mission statement.

Clear purpose: By having a clear purpose for a business, it removes any ambiguity surrounding the existence of a business. People who are interested in the progression of the business such as stakeholders will want to know that the business is making right choices and progressing more towards achieving their goals and this will remove any doubt the stakeholders may have in the business.[10]

The reason why having a mission statement that is simple and clear is that it can play many different factors. A mission statement can help to play as a motivational tool within an organisation, it can allow employees to all work towards one common goal that benefits both the organisation and themselves. This can help with factors such as

  • NORC Blueprint: A Guide to Community Action's Developing a Mission Statement Guide
  • Personal Mission Statement Guidelines

External links

  1. ^ "What is a mission statement? definition and meaning". Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Hill, Charles; Jones, Gareth (2008). Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach (8th Revised edition). Mason, OH: South-Western Educational Publishing. p. 11.  
  3. ^ Bart, Christopher (July 1997). "Industrial Firms and the Power of Mission".  
  4. ^ Bart, Christopher (2015). "Sex, Lies and Mission Statements". Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  5. ^ "What is a Mission Statement?". Business News Daily. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  6. ^ "Mission Statement". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  7. ^ "What is a vision statement? definition and meaning". Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  8. ^ "Mission Statement vs Vision Statement - Difference and Comparison | Diffen". Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  9. ^ "Vision and Mission - What's the difference and why does it matter?". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  10. ^ "Advantages and Disadvantages of a Mission Statement". Investment & Small Business Accountants (in en-US). Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  11. ^ "Benefits of Vision and Mission Statements | Clearlogic Consulting Professionals". Retrieved 2015-11-01. 



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