Posted by: ebcbroadcast | November 22, 2013

Why Mission Statements Are Not Enough

Why Mission Statements Are Not Enough

By John Cameron | Aug 21, 2013 |

Almost every company develops a Mission Statement at some point. Then all too often it gets put into a frame

and hung on a wall where it hides in plain sight.

I’m not saying that Mission Statements are a bad idea. In fact, I believe that when they are well written they can play a vital role in the development of companies.

The problem with them is that most of the employees can’t connect with them. That’s especially true for the people on the front lines. Try the following one on for size.

FedEx will produce superior financial returns for shareowners by providing high value-added supply chain, transportation, business and related information services through focused operating companies. Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx will strive to develop mutually rewarding relationships with its employees, partners and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards.

That’s a great statement for upper level management at planning meetings and strategy sessions, but it’s easy to see why most employees can’t see how it relates to them.

The Missing Piece

I think there is a missing piece of the puzzle. Mission Statements are what the company is here to do. Vision Statements articulate where the company wants to be at some point in the future. The missing piece is the Company Promise. This is a promise that the company makes and strives to keep with every customer every single interaction.

I’ve seen companies without Mission Statements and Vision Statements, but who are clear about their promise and religious about keeping it achieve remarkable success.

I’ve also seen companies with well-crafted Mission & Vision Statements struggle endlessly.

It’s easy to reach the conclusion if companies don’t have a well thought out and kept Company Promise then their Mission Statements and Vision Statements are just pipe dreams.

Company Promises should include both direct value and collateral value. Direct value is what the customers pay for. Like the meal at a restaurant. While the collateral value is things customers appreciate, but don’t pay for like the friendliness of the server, the atmosphere, entertainment and the speed of service.

Good direct value is must, but due to the competitive nature of the small businesses environment companies that also deliver great collateral value are the most successful. They don’t feel the same pressure to compete on price. Interestingly, there’s often a good selection of collateral value ideas that are free or inexpensive to implement.

It just makes sense to create a Company Promise and develop a strategy for integrating it into your day to day operations.


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