A Mission Statement is an essential building block to developing a strong organizational culture. When a mission statement is well written, it can inspire a team and give them a purpose. Unfortunately, too many mission statements are still poorly written and do little to help their organization. It doesn’t have to be this way. Below are 3 essential elements to help you create a well-crafted mission statement that will have a big impact on your organization.
#1 Answers the Critical Question
First, the mission statement should clearly answer the question: why do people go to work each day? People need a clear purpose of why they do what they do at work. A mission statement should provide this clear purpose to help unify a team and guide their decisions. When a mission statement clearly answers the question of why people go to work each day it has the power to transform an organization.
A mission statement needs to be very clear. Using big words that nobody understands or long run-on sentences that are confusing is never good. People should be able to read your mission statement and easily understand it without having to ask questions. The simpler and clearer a mission statement is the better.
Finally, the mission statement must be concise. One sentence is ideal—two short sentences at the very most! A mission statement must be easily repeated and memorized. A long drawn out mission statement is seldom repeated and never memorized; therefore it is rarely remembered. The hope of any organization should be that their people know and memorize their mission statement. This will help them internalize it and refer back to it in their day to day decision making.
A great example of a well-crafted mission statement is Google’s. Their mission is, “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Notice how this mission statement meets all three of the criteria above. It answers the question of why people go to work each day, it is very clear, and it is concise. Perfect!
A well-crafted mission statement can have a significant impact on an organization. If your mission statement does not meet the three criteria above, then modify it so that it does. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written mission statement for your organization. With a mission statement that meets all three of the criteria above you will be well on your way to establishing a solid foundation for a healthy culture.
Want some help creating or modifying your mission statement? I’d be happy to help you with this process. Contact me.