If an airline gave you the option to select the plane you fly on, would you choose the multi-million dollar, over-engineered machine or the plane built by Billy-Bob in his backyard?
Choose wisely; it could be the difference between smooth flying and a fiery crash.
A mission statement is very nearly the same. It’s important to select a research based, engineered phrase rather than one that is thrown together. It’s more than just a couple lines in an employee handbook; it’s a statement capturing your organization’s goals and philosophies. It is the fundamental base that allows you to create your organization’s culture, business practice, and presence.
It may seem like a rudimentary exercise, but crafting the right mission statement will ensure you don’t crash and burn.
Security Check-Point – Check your content before you begin.
Like security in the airport, make sure you’re only bringing essential information into your mission statement. Here are some good questions to pose:
- What do we do?
- Who are our customers?
- How are we different from our competition?
- What underlying philosophies or values do we operate under?
- What do we want to be remembered for?
Now that you’ve screened your preliminary information, you can build your mission statement. In one or two concise sentences, craft a phrase that synthesizes why your organization exists. The information you’ve already collected will help you do this.
Pre-Boarding Checklist – 4 Tips for an awesome mission statement.
Before you can take that new mission statement to cruising altitude, it’s a good idea to take a step back and evaluate it’s content. Here’s a pre-flight checklist to make sure you’ve created an awesome mission:
- It’s not fluffy like the clouds. Take a gigantic red pen to your mission statement and red-line the excess fluff and business jargon. It has no place in your mission statement and is really, really distracting. Get to the point in as few words as possible.
- Would you wear it on a shirt? If the answer is no, then you might consider revising it.
- It’s specific. Sure, mission statements are big, but they can also be specific. You can’t be everything to everyone, so narrow the focus and outline what your adding to the market.
- It’s an action. The best missions have action, not just a string of gushy romantic feelings. Your company looks to this statement to make decisions, so having a mission that can drive activity is vital.
Need more guidance? Here’s a quick list of mission statements we think are pretty sweet:
Apple: “We are committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.”
Google: “Organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Amazon: “To build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Sony: “To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public.”
For a deep dive on Mission Statements, check out our post on all things mission.