Writing Mission Statements

Posted on 20th Mar 2015

Avon's mission statement begins 'Avon's mission is focused on six core aspirations the company continually strives to achieve,' and then carries on for an incredible 249 more words, which inevitably include increasing shareholder value. Barnes and Noble, the American book retailer, have a mission statement which begins; 'Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell.' It seems a little flippant. Worse still are the ones that rely to heavily on buzzwords such as stakeholders, deliverables and frameworks.

The best mission statements are clear, inspiring and short enough to be memorable. Here are some examples:

'Be the best in the eyes of our customers, employees and shareholders.' American Standard Company

'Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.' Google

Zappos, the clothing company, have a WOW Philosophy instead of a mission statement. They summarise this as 'To provide the best customer service possible'.

A good mission statement with be something that all employees know, understand and something that acts as a compass for their behaviour. If your team are focused on providing the best customer service possible in everything that they do then that will flow straight to the bottom line in the form of fewer complaints and more repeat business. However, business purposes can take many forms.

Businesses have mission statements, but why shouldn't teams also have them too? They will help to clarify and give everyone a sense of belonging in their team. We can provide an event based around creative activities which culminates in the team creating a standard, which can be a crest or a flag and it can also include a mission statement. Call us for further details.

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