Does your mission statement set the standard or is it something, somewhere on a wall or in a folder?
I’m assuming that you have a mission statement for your department as well as company. Is it eight words or less?
Most organisations have a mission statement, many of which are so long and full of gobbledygook as to be meaningless, take time to explain or just ignored. Don’t believe me? How many of your colleagues and front line personnel can correctly say or interpret your organisation’s mission statement?
However, there is hope in the shape of Ken Starr, CEO of the #Mulago Foundation, a charity that channels investments to socially minded businesses. He insists that to receive any funding a company must have a mission statement of eight words or less. And they must follow the format of Verb, target, outcome. For example, “Save endangered species from extinction” or “Improve African children’s health”. Once agreed, the companies then have to measure the right thing and measure it well.
Source: Report on Pop Tech Conference, 22nd October, 2010 as seen in Market Leader magazine.
How long is your organisation’s mission statement and is it understood by all? If not, this is an area in which you can take the lead. Start with your own department’s mission statement, then campaign for the organisation to follow suit. It may not be eight words or less, but above ten words, alarm bells should ring.
What is the mission statement of the Finance Department, or Marketing or Sales or Operations? Remember. Sales, challenge Marketing to succinctly define their purpose. Finance, ask sales “Why are you needed?” which is another way of developing the Mission Statement. So why have something so important, so short? Because it focuses effort and is easy to understand and communicate. A bit radical, I know. However, if you can’t briefly explain what you’re about, how can you expect others to understand?
For example, a Mission Statement for an airline may be “Air transport of customers and cargo safely on time.” One then puts in place suitable forms of measurement.
For me it crystallised what I’m about. “Coach and train clients for increased sales and profits.” One can then measure the input variables of Knowledge, Attitude, Skill and Habit, so we have people who are KASHed up, as well as the improvement in sales and profits.
What is it you do (verb), to/for whom (target) and their benefit (outcome)?
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