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Mission

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A Mission is the the main idea, the purpose and the drivers behind a company, which sends the company, it's executives and employees along its way in a particular direction. The Mission is typically defined in a mission statement.[1]


A company's mission is the plan for how it will achieve it's vision. Mission is a call to action. Some reference to a business model would be appropriate. You need not include every detail—it will only handcuff you later—but it’s through your mission statement that people will be able to understand how they are going to share your vision with you.[2]


The mission, which describes what business the organization is in (and what it isn’t) both now and projecting into the future. Its aim is to provide focus for management and staff. A consulting firm might define its mission by the type of work it does, the clients it caters to, and the level of service it provides. For example: “We’re in the business of providing high-standard assistance on performance assessment to middle to senior managers in medium-to-large firms in the finance industry.”[3]


Defining the Company's Mission[4]
Defining the company mission is one of the most often slighted tasks in strategic management. Emphasizing the operational aspects of long-range management activities comes much more easily for most executives. But the critical role of defining the mission is repeatedly demonstrated by failing firms whose short-run actions have been at odds with their long-run purposes. The principal value of the mission statement is its specification of the firm's ultimate aims. A firm gains a heightened sense of purpose when its board of directors and its top executives address these issues: "What business are we in?" "What customers do we serve?" "Why does this organization exist?" However, the potential contribution of the company mission can be undermined if platitudes or ambiguous generalizations are accepted in response to these questions. It is not enough to say that Lever Brothers is in the business of "making anything that cleans anything" or that Polaroid is committed to businesses that deal with "the interaction of light and matter." Only if a firm clearly articulates its long-term intentions can its goals serve as a basis for shared expectations, planning, and performance evaluation. A clear mission that is developed from this perspective provides managers with a unity of direction transcending individual, parochial, and temporary needs. It promotes a sense of shared expectations among all levels and generations of employees. It consolidates values over time and across individuals and interest groups. It projects a sense of worth and intent that can be identified and assimilated by outside stakeholders, that is, customers, suppliers, competitors, local committees, and the general public. Finally, it asserts the firm's commitment to responsible action in symbiosis with the preservation and protection of the essential claims of insider stakeholders' survival, growth, and profitability.


References

  1. Definition of Mission of a Business CIO Index
  2. What is Mission? Stephen Abbott
  3. Understanding the mission of a business hbr.org
  4. Defining the Company's Mission McGrawHill