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A corporate mission statement is meant to guide organizational activity by making it clear to all stakeholders what the organizational goals are and the way they will be met. Stakeholders include but are not limited to company staff, clients, the community and shareholders. A clear corporate mission inspires the employees and improves company performance.
A good mission statement is an essential tool one needs to run a successful organization in the corporate world. It’s the “why” of an organization strategy alignment, linking an organization’s structure and resources with its strategy and organizational environment.
To come up with a good mission statement, the company should take steps to define the following:
Before crafting any mission statement, start with a market-defining story. This is a process of thinking it through. For instance, imagine a customer making the real decision to buy what your corporate intend to sell or produce. Use your imagination to see why the customer wants it, how she/he finds you, and what buying from you does for her/him. Keep that in mind for the actual mission statement wording: A really good market-defining story explains the need. It defines the target customer, and it defines how your company is different from most others, or even unique. According to Berry (2007), ‘telling your market story isn’t about doing formal market research or gathering the supporting information you’ll need to include in a plan for investors, or professors, or in some cases for the bank, your boss, partners, or any other third-party plan judge or reader. No. This is about knowing your market for yourself so that you understand the decisions you make, understand the strategy, and understand the heart of your plan.’
Secondly one must define what corporate does for its customers, employees, owners and the community/environment. When a company defines what it does for its customers, employees, owners and the community/environment, it automatically captures who exactly its target audience is and what it does for this audience. This kind of direction is very important for a corporate mission statement. It helps every stakeholder understand their role.
In defining what the organization does for its customers, use your market-defining story to understand whatever it is that makes your organization special for your target customer. If your organization is good for the world, incorporate that it in the mission statement. For example, the BMW Mission statement up to the year 2020 is: “to become the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.”
Also, a mission statement should define what the corporate offers its employee. One of the criteria for evaluating an effective and efficient mission statement is if it motivates and inspires the employees. The National Bank of Kenya Mission Statement is an example of this: “At National Bank, we are dedicated to excellence in providing competitive Financial Solutions, meeting the changing needs of our customers, being a responsible Corporate Citizen, providing attractive opportunities to our employees and improving shareholders Value”.
In defining what the organization does for its owners, it acts as the company’s compass. It serves as a guide for the day to day operations and also as the foundation for future decision making. It directs the company to its vision or dream and helps the employees to judge the direction the company is moving in relation to its stated purpose.
In defining what the organization does for its community and environment, the corporate usually stand out, win funding bids or gain organization. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a mechanism for organization to assess the impact they have on society and consider putting responsible, ethical policies in place to support individuals, the local community and the environment. A strong sense of corporate social responsibility can provide an organization with a competitive advantage in their field, offering extra benefits to buyers or investors in the form of ethical and environmental policies and happy employees and customers.
Thirdly, defining how the corporate plans to achieve the aforesaid, is important in providing direction for what is expected in delivering for the identified stakeholders. It is the roadmap for serving the stakeholders of the company. It leaves no room for assumptions for it keeps expectations in check.
Lastly, defining the value that the company brings to its stakeholders in a way that no other company does is important because it makes it very clear what the company’s core competency is and why it outdoes the competition. This is very important in convincing stakeholders why a company should be trusted above its competitors to deliver on what it does well (Babnik, 2014).
In conclusion, when crafting a good corporate mission statement, there are at least three very important steps: defining what a company does and who its audience is, how it serves this audience and the value it brings to this audience. A perfect example of this is the mission statement of Cradles to Crayons organization whose mission statement is as follows: Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
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