What is Your Company’s Mission and Why Should You Care?

A few weeks ago, I posted “What Is Your Company’s Vision and Why Should You Care?” In this article I defined Vision as “a picture of the future which creates an ideal and unique image of what the organization will become and/or the impact it will make.” I wrote about the importance of keeping the vision of your organization concise but powerful and portable so that it can be easily remembered, modeled, communicated and transferred.

Equally important for your organization is a mission statement. The mission statement defines where you are going and what your organization is doing right now to attain the vision.

Where the vision statement is broad, the mission statement should be specific. The vision for the organization should remain constant over time while the mission can change depending on what the organization is able to achieve and depending on market forces. The mission statement can also include some key success factors and parameters that allow the organization to clearly see and measure success as you move towards fulfilling the mission.

What Is Your Company’s Vision and Why Should You Care?

What is your company’s vision? Is it clearly articulated and communicated to the whole organization? Is it precise and concise or is it obtuse, drawn out and paragraphs long? Do your employees know what the vision is? Is it easy to communicate and to transfer? Can employees see how they contribute to the organization’s vision? Do the organization’s leaders model the vision in all their actions, decisions and behaviors? Would your customers agree that your vision statement matches their perception of the organization?

Why should you care about the answer to these questions?

You should care because a concise, clearly articulated, consistently modeled and communicated vision is critical to the success of your organization. Vision gets everyone in the organization aligned around a common theme and every decision and action taken within the organization is measured against its contribution to this vision.

This is an extremely powerful differentiator in our globalized, commoditized and “flat” world. Author, philosopher and professor Tom Morris said it this way; “If we don’t know who we are or where we’re going, how can we possibly know exactly what we should do today, and tomorrow? “ and then he added “From our most fundamental forms of thinking flow our attitudes, our emotions, our decisions, and our actions.  With a powerful ethical vision directing all our other thoughts, we don’t need long lists of rules to guide us.“