American Marketing Association defines mission statement as,
“An expression of a company’s history, managerial preferences, environmental concerns, available resources, and distinctive competencies to serve selected publics. It is used to guide the company’s decision making and strategic planning.”
Kotler & Keller state that good mission statements have three major characteristics:
i. They focus on a limited number of goals.
ii. They stress the company’s major policies and values.
iii. They define the major competitive spheres within which the companies will operate.
Let’s look at some examples.
“We help people trade practically anything on earth. We will continue to enhance the online trading experiences of all – collectors, dealers, small businesses, unique item seekers, bargain hunters, opportunity sellers, and browsers.”
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
In my MBA class, I learned that mission statements are utmost import. They are the beginning of everything, much like Genesis or Big Bang. A company which does not have a good mission statement will fail. A company which does not follow closely its mission statement will also fail. However, I notice that Johnson & Johnson doesn’t have a mission statement. What it does have is, instead, our credo…
Dell is guided by Soul of Dell rather than a mission statement…
Likewise, Canon has the philosophy of Kyosei…
I also wonder if mission statement will become an obstacle when a company attempts to diversify.
So, is mission statement indispensable???
Reference: Kotler & Keller, "Marketing Management", 12th edition