Why you need a mission statement

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

A mission statement is a formal summary of the aims and values of a company.

Entrepreneur Steve Blank provides an excellent article on the importance of having a mission statement for your company.

He begins with the need to understand and create a shared company mission statement for every member of the team to be able to follow. The mission statement is a company-wide objective that everyone works together to achieve. It that tells people why they come to work, what they need to do whilst there and how to know if they have succeeded. The mission statement focuses on the company’s future and helps determine a company’s direction.

Having a shared mission statement creates an environment for developing what Steve calls ‘mission-focused teams” that are prepared to make better day to day strategic decisions. The mission statement allows people to see what aspect of their jobs matters most and makes the biggest contribution to the overall mission statement. A mission focused team is one where each individual is always working towards the goals that contributes to the department’s mission and are always questioning whether what they are doing is contributing in any way to wider company goals. Thus a mission statement provides a clear template for decision making

The final aspect is on mission intent. This is recognising that along the line some goals will not be met for one reason or another but understanding the reasons behind the goals allows staff to develop alternative goals to meet the original objectives. The mission statement also becomes particularly important during stressful times when work begins to pile up. Steve encourages employees to always refer back to the mission statement to ask whether the task at hand will contribute directly to the mission statement and if not then to ask themselves why they are doing it.

Head over to Steve’s blog to read the full article to and view a great example of a mission statement.