There's a fabulous scene in one of my favorite movies, Jerry Maguire, in which he talks about his epiphany and the subsequent mission statement entitled "The things we think and do not say" and there are some simple steps to writing the perfect mission statement which will bring you a step closer to reaching your goals and achieving your best, in a Jerry Maguire-esque fashion.
Mission statements are used by companies to outline their goals and intentions but they don't just need to be confined to massive corporations. Any company, large or small, and even individuals can write a mission statement. It's a useful reminder of what you want to achieve so here are some tips for writing the perfect mission statement.
1. Collect Ideas
One of the things to remember when writing the perfect mission statement is that you're not working in isolation. There are other people who are on the journey with you so it would be worth collecting some ideas from colleagues about what they think the mission of the company or group should be. You can also look at examples of mission statements online for inspiration.
2. Define Yourself
One of the most important things to consider is how you're going to define your business. What role does it play in the industry and wider community and where do you see this going? Consider whether you're on the right trajectory and if not, how you're going to get where you want to go.
3. What Are You Dedicated to?
State the things you're dedicated to as a company. What is it you're really passionate about doing? Is it providing exceptional customer service or creating a quality product? Whatever it is, state what you're dedicated to. Take inspiration from Tiffany and Co's mission statement which says that their aim is "To be the world’s most respected and successful designer, manufacturer and retailer of the finest jewelry." Google Inc's mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." And their official unofficial mission statement? "Don't be evil"
4. Assess Your Value
What is the value of the service or product you provide? You can ascertain this by distributing questionnaires to customers which will enable you to see how they value you and where they see the company going. After all, you wouldn't be there if it wasn't for the customers!
5. Talk It through
Once you have some of these fundamentals covered, it's a good idea to set up a focus group to go through some of the ideas and think about how you can incorporate them into your mission statement.
6. Make It Visible
Once you have written it, display it. Make sure that people can see it and that it becomes part of their day and the overall ethos of the company. It should motivate and inspire and if it's something which has been gone collaboratively, people will feel more inclined to live it every day with you.
7. Now Live It
We've all heard the phrase "practice what you preach". Well, this applies here and by putting the mission statement into practice and actually living it, you will gain the credibility you deserve from the customers and suppliers.
These are a few vital things to remember when writing your mission statement. Has anyone written a mission statement themselves? What hints and tips would you give?