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A mission statement is a short statement of an

organization 's purpose, identifying the scope of its operations: what kind of product or service it
provides, its primary customers or market , and its geographical region of operation. [1][2] It may
include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a
business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future statethe "vision". [1][3]

A mission statement is not simply a description of an organization by an external party, but an


expression, made by its leaders, of their desires and intent for the organization. The purpose of a
mission statement is to focus and direct the organization itself. It communicates primarily to the people
who make up the organizationits members or employeesgiving them a shared understanding of the
organization's intended direction. Organizations normally do not change their mission statements over
time, since they define their continuous, ongoing purpose and focus. [4]

According to Chris Bart , professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University ,[5] a commercial
mission statement consists of three essential components: [6] [ not in citation given]

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?

Bart estimates that in practice, only about ten percent of mission statements say something meaningful.
[5] For this reason, they are widely regarded with contempt. [6]

Purpose

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. [7] Some generic examples of mission statements would be, "To
provide the best service possible within the banking sector for our customers." 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 organization, not only to themselves and their employees
but to the customers and other people who are a part 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.

North American magazine and website that carries news stories about entrepreneurship, small business
management, and business,

Entrepreneur 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." [8]
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 where a company aims to be in the
future.

Advantages

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

Clear purpose: Having a clear purpose can remove any potential ambiguities that can surround 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 the right choices and progressing more
towards achieving their goals, which will help to remove any doubt the stakeholders may have in the
business.

The benefit of having a simple and clear mission statement is that it can be beneficial in many different
ways. 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 employee satisfaction and productivity. It is important that employees
feel a sense of purpose, by giving them this sense of purpose it will allow them to focus more on their
daily tasks and help them to realise the goals of the organisation and their role. [9][10]

Disadvantages

Although it is mostly beneficial for a business to craft a good mission statement, there are some
situations where a mission statement can be considered pointless or not useful to a business.

Unrealistic: In most cases, mission statements turn out to be unrealistic and far too optimistic. An
unrealistic mission statement can also affect the performance and morale of the employees within the
workplace. This is because an unrealistic mission statement would reduce the likelihood of employees
being able to meet this standard which could demotivate

employees in the long term. Unrealistic mission statements also serve no purpose and can be
considered a waste of management's time. Another issue which could arise from an unrealistic mission
statement is that poor decisions could be made in an attempt to achieve this goal which has the
potential to harm the business and be seen as a waste of both time and resources.
Waste of time and resources: Mission statements require planning, this takes time and effort for those
who are responsible for creating the mission statement. If the mission statement is not achieved, then
the process of creating the mission statement could be seen as a waste of time for all of the people
involved. A lot of thought and time is spent in designing a good mission statement, and to have all of
that time wasted is not what businesses can afford to be doing. The wasted time could have been spent
on much more important tasks within the organisation such as decision-making for the

business .

Design

According to Forbes, the following questions must be answered in the mission statement. " What do we
do?" The mission statement should clearly outline the main purpose of the organisation, and what they
do. "How do we do it?" It should also mention how you plan on achieving the mission statement.
"Whom do we do it for?" The audience of the mission statement should be clearly stated within the
mission statement. "What value are we bringing?" The benefits and values of the mission statement
should be clearly outlined. [11] [ citation not found ] When designing your mission statement, it should
be very clear to the audience what the purpose of it is. It is ideal for a business to be able to
communicate their mission, goals and objectives to the reader without including any unnecessary
information through the mission statement. [12]

[ citation not found ]

US Federal Emergency Management Agency 's Mission Statement Poster

Richard Branson has commented on ways of crafting a good mission statement; he explains the
importance of having a mission statement that is clear and straight to the point and does not contain
unnecessary baffling. He went on to analyse a mission statement, using Yahoo 's mission statement at
the time (2013) as an example, in his evaluation of the mission statement he seemed to suggest that
while the statement sounded interesting most people will not be able to understand the message it is
putting across, in other words the message of the mission statement potentially meant nothing to the
audience. [13] [ citation not found ]

This further backs up the idea that a good mission statement is one that is clear and answers the right
questions in a simple manner, and does not over complicate things. An example of a good mission
statement would be Google's, which is "to organise the world's information and make it universally
accessible and useful." [14]

[ not in citation given]

See also

Strategic planning