A mission statement is a statement declaring the purpose of an organization or company — the reason for this company’s existence. A mission statement provides framework and context to help guide the company’s strategies and actions by spelling out the company’s overall goal. Ultimately, a mission statement helps guide decision-making internally while also articulating the company’s mission to customers, suppliers, and the community.
It’s important to note the distinction between a mission statement and a slogan. A mission statement is not a marketing tool designed to grab attention quickly. While it should be catchy and memorable, a mission statement is a thoughtful declaration designed to articulate the goals and philosophies of a company. A mission statement is also not a business plan. A business plan is an organized outline of your ideas about how the business functions.
A mission statement differs from a vision statement. A mission statement says what the company currently is; a vision statement states what the company hopes to become. A mission statement is also not a business plan. A business plan is an organized outline of your ideas about how the business functions.
A mission statement is not an evergreen statement. As a company evolves over time, the company’s mission and intent may also change. A good rule of thumb is to revisit the mission statement every five years to see if it needs to be fine-tuned or rewritten. A mission statement will keep your company on track, but it shouldn’t become stale or irrelevant.
What does a mission statement include?
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Why focus 10,000 years into the future? The answer lies in Bezos’ letter to Amazon shareholders from 1997 when the company went public, a manifesto of sorts about the benefits and approaches to long term thinking.
The 1997 letter’s main point: we can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term. Every subsequent year Bezos has ended shareholder letters by attaching the original 1997 essay with a reminder of the importance of thinking long term. And every year, he is proven right.
The company that started out as a few guys in a garage has now revolutionized the way we buy everything from books to toys to clothes. Amazon is now one of the 100-largest companies in America, mostly thanks to bold long term plays like the Amazon Kindle.
“If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people,” Bezos told Wired in 2011. “But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.”
What elements comprise a fully formed idea? How might originators capture the evolution in their thinking about their ideas over time? Innovation architect Doug Collins—older and, debatably, wiser—revisits his thinking on this subject.
Many groups coin abbreviations and acronyms as ways to help them decide what to do. Project managers use the SMART mnemonic to set program goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. Pediatricians use the Apgar score to help them assess the health of newborns: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration.
People who practice collaborative innovation have their own shorthand, as well. For idea capture they use OIA: observation, implication, and application. Chris Miller, who founded innovation consultancy Innovation Focus, developed this approach as part of his Hunting for Hunting grounds method, through which participants identify new opportunities for growth. I explored the OIA approach’s use in collaborative innovation in an earlier article. An example of OIA follows (figure 1).
Figure 1: example of OIA
Click to enlarge
OIA enables originators to capture and share fully formed ideas such that their fellow community members and stakeholders have enough information to comment, assess, and decide next steps. I have found, too, in working with clients that OIA offers further benefits beyond enabling people to capture their ideas in full… Leer más “Revisiting the Idea of a Fully Formed Idea | innovationmanagement.se”