Pin Me

10 Tips for Developing Mission Statements

written by: Vikas Vij•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 11/14/2010

Looking to create the perfect mission statement for your organization? Consider these useful tips that are critical in developing mission statements for business organizations.

  • slide 1 of 1

    Develop A Mission Statement With These 10 Tips

    Mission Statements Developing mission statements is as important as laying down the foundation stone of a skyscraper. Therefore, it is imperative to have a solid mission statement that spells out the core purpose of the company’s existence.

    1. Ask Tough Questions and Introspect

    Before you can develop the mission statement for your organization, you must begin by asking some tough questions regarding what is the role, responsibility, and purpose of your business. This is an exercise in introspection that should involve all the business promoters and top management to determine the long-term direction of the company.

    2. Collect and Analyze Information

    Seek inputs from all departments and divisions of your business to know clearly your entire product and service portfolio, the core strengths and capabilities of your business in the long run, and the key markets in which your business operates or has a potential to operate.

    3. Aim for Clarity

    One of the most challenging tasks in developing mission statements is to be brief and yet be absolutely clear and unambiguous. You have to remember that the mission statement is meant for a very wide audience inside and outside the organization, and it must spell out a clear direction rather than leave a person with more questions than answers.

    4. Maintain the Focus

    One of the common errors that occurs while developing a mission statement is that it tries to cover more ground than it should, and the central focus of the organization gets lost in the process. Therefore, stick to your company’s core mission and develop the statement around that mission.

    5. Be Honest and Direct

    Your mission statement is not a marketing tool to convince potential clients, investors or shareholders. These people will look for other values in your organization, and not just go by the proclamation of your mission. Therefore, be honest and direct in your approach and do not let your mission statement claim something that is not your organization’s core goal.

    6. Maintain Balance between Specifics and Generics

    One of the critical aspects of developing mission statements is to decide how far the statement must be specific and how far it must be broad-based. An ideal statement will strive to achieve a balance between the two, and come up with a statement that covers both specific and generic elements of your mission.

    7. Be Realistic

    The mission statement must be in close touch with the ground realities of your business and its position in a competitive market environment. For instance, if your business is localized in just one country, the focus of your mission statement should not mention global markets.

    8. Make It a Team Effort

    Your company’s mission statement should be formulated with inputs from key team leaders of the organization. Just the CEO alone must not dictate the mission of the business in a democratic business organization.

    9. Seek Feedback within the Organization

    Once the mission statement has been developed, you must share its proposed contents with the core members of your management team or board of directors. The members will be able to provide you critical feedback and valuable inputs if there is a need to modify the statement before it is finalized.

    10. Constantly Evaluate your Mission Statement

    Once the final mission statement has been developed, it should not be a static statement for a lifetime. Business and market dynamics change as new technological and other changes influence the core values and business focus of the organization. Therefore, over a period of several years or decades the mission statement may undergo changes as the business continues to grow, evolve and reinvent itself with time.

    Photo Credit: nkzs