The Perfect Mission Statement
One way to determine your companies mission statement is based on a general overview of the company. Some important questions are asked like: Why does the company exist and what kind of business is it in? Is there a particular market or niche that it will concentrate upon? How will the company be distinctive in its business methods? Once these questions are answered, the focus moves to the accomplishment of these broadly expressed objectives. What actions will the company take toward increasing and maintaining profitability, innovation, market standing, or productivity? What financial and physical resources can be depended upon? How will the company oversee and assure manager performance and development while also controlling worker performance and attitudes? In what ways will the public be responsible for determining the success of the company?
Determining your mission statement can involve detailed, and explicit analysis. In this second method, the construction of the statement is broken down into three parts before the incorporation of the objectives. The first phase entails briefly and concisely defining the corporate purpose. The second phase examines this purpose by asking several questions: What type of industry is the company involved in? What is the company's specific function? Will the company focus on a value-added, upscale image, or is it price- or availability-oriented? What will the location of the company be? Is this strategically best? The third phase reflects the company's determination of the conduct of its business. What are the management values? What is the management style? Will the power be centralized or decentralized? What risks will the company be willing to take? Here, performance and management objectives are the long term measurable target of the corporation. Performance objectives can be measured quantitatively. They involve examining the return on investment, earnings per share, capital structure, and sales growth. Management objectives are qualitative. They measure personnel development, the external reputation and image of the company, system development, and the research side of the company.
Mission statements may not be applicable to some organizations. There are those simply too diversified to have them. It would take an artful writer to define the mission of such conglomerate companies. It is not unusual, however, to find mission statements for each of the constituent businesses of diversified companies. These statements may permit the headquarters staff of the parent companies and the managements of each subsidiary business to agree on the scope and limitations of the markets that the constituent businesses will serve and the products or services they will offer. They can also help the employees feel that they are contributing to the goals of the parent company, while still maintaining a focus on the subsidiary in which they are employed.
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CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.
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