Why Share the Company Mission?
Starting a new business can be quite a risky venture, but with proper planning and a clear mission statement, a company can achieve success in time. While businesses usually focus on the creation of business plans in order to establish a roadmap of the path to profitability, establishing a mission statement first is at least, equally as important. The mission statement, when created and used properly, is the element that will influence company activities and guide the company to success.
What should a mission statement include?
Any mission statement, in my mind, should be short and to the point. It should, in a few easy to memorize words, describe: the purpose of the company; the company philosophy on how it will achieve the purpose; and an end result. Stay away from mission statements that are paragraphs long and full of fluff!
How a mission statement helps to focus a company?
Yes a mission statement when written properly will give outsiders a good idea of the main goal of your company. More importantly, it describes to all employees the main goal of the company. This is very important. Every employee, from the lowest employee to the highest, should look at every task given or considering to be given with the mission statement in mind. If the task does not support the company mission, then the question “why is this task being done?” should be raised. If superiors cannot give an acceptable answer then the task should be dropped or modified.
When every employee knows the mission statement and is comfortable in questioning tasks – and managers are comfortable fielding such questions – there are many “eyes on the ball” and the company has a better chance of hitting its target.
Obviously employee focus as described above is a benefit; probably the biggest benefit. Yes, it is the only benefit worth speaking about. Without a unifying statement that let’s employees know why they are there day after day doing what they do, there is little chance of the company successfully achieving its goal efficiently and consistently.
I have seen firsthand how employees and managers who did not know, or perhaps, care about the mission statement went about executing on tasks that provided no value at all to the company goal. The tasks were not questioned and were permitted to continue. The company ended up in one of those situations where the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing or trying to achieve. Nevertheless, problems occurred, fixes were put in place, immediate issues were corrected but the root cause was never identified and the problems resurfaced elsewhere at later dates.
If you’re starting a business or any big project for that matter, in Ottawa or elsewhere, develop a mission statement and review it often! This will not only ensure that you are moving in the right direction from the start, but it will also ensure that you continually move in the right direction. And, if you have employees, make sure they know that mission statement inside and out. It will benefit all of you; believe me!
I’ve come across one company that has a decent mission statement that I like. It even talks about tenets on the company website. I will post about the value of tenets at another time. However, this is the Ottawa SEO that seems to recognize the value of a mission statement. I’m glad to see that it’s not just the big corporations using mission statements.