Creating Impactful Mission Statements


Successful organizations begin by establishing their mission, which is the core reason for their existence—the product or service they provide, who they provide it to, and the benefits of that product or service. A lack of an established mission means that not only are staff and management unsure of their purpose, but customers and vendors are also left in the dark, uncertain of what to expect.

An organization’s mission ideally defines what it does best every day and why, and reflects the customer’s needs as well. Having a mission is the foundation upon which a high-performing organization’s dreams and potential become reality. Essentially, it affirms the reason(s) why an organization exists.

Under the guidance of a project facilitator, a team of senior management begins by developing a framework of what they believe the mission should be. The facilitator shares and explains this mission framework to each supervisory layer, soliciting input on each occasion, and ultimately shares it with the employees who then sit down with a good human resources representative in a roundtable session to discuss it and generate further input. The facilitator may need to go back and forth a few times before a final product is derived. Once the majority of employees and management agree to the refined mission, all employees need to agree to respect and support it.

A primary benefit to creating or revisiting a mission is that it opens up communication within and throughout an organization. Every successful organization has a clearly established mission, one that has been developed with input from all employees collectively, not simply flowing down from the top. By engaging employees in establishing their organization’s mission, they become fully invested in it. The mission must be ingrained within the organization’s culture. Not only are employees and customers made familiar with the organization’s mission; candidates are also exposed to the mission of high-performing organizations during the interview process, before they’re offered a position.

Some tips to remember when writing a mission statement: 1) keep it short and easy to remember; 2) specify who your target customer is and describe the advantages you offer; and 3) define your product clearly and how it differs from the competition.

You may be wondering how you can say all that and still keep your mission statement short and memorable. Here are two strong examples from high-performing organizations with effective mission statements.

Google: We organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Their marketplace? The world. Their product and its advantages? Organizing the world’s information to make it easily accessible and useful. They do this and they do it exceedingly well.

Starbucks: We inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time. Their marketplace? Also, essentially the world, yet they stress the individual: one person, one neighborhood at a time to maintain a personal feel. We are already very familiar with their product and social coffeehouse environment, aren’t we?

In addition to a mission statement, all high-performing organizations possess a clearly defined vision. Organizations with an established vision have a workplace of direction, purpose, and achievement. These organizations envision where they want to be and do the appropriate things to get there. Every employee is given a copy of this road map.

 

In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Kingdom Minded ~ Defining your Mission, Vision and Values


When we meet with people to discuss strengthening their HR practices, we often use the term “Kingdom-minded organization.” More often than not, they are intrigued as to precisely how we define what potentially encompasses a considerably broad scope or approach. Certainly, many Christian business people, academia professionals, pastors, and consultants have their own ideas as to what constitutes a Kingdom-minded organization. My own Kingdom-minded human resources organization has worked hard to develop what we feel is a clear, actionable, and measurable articulation of just what a Kingdom-minded organization means to us and how to achieve it, and, as a result, the organizational leaders we work with express enthusiasm to achieve these goals, and are willing to invest their precious time, dollars, and energy into making their organization a prosperous one, and one reflective of Christ and His teachings.

In terms of what comprises the framework of a Kingdom-minded organization, the model I developed contains principles that apply to marketplace organizations, colleges and universities, churches, and non-profit organizations alike.

A Kingdom-minded organization puts Christ first, with a focus on integrity, honesty, and straightforward dealings with students, alumni, parents, staff, contractors and suppliers, etc. Such an organization possesses clearly delineated mission, vision, and core value statements. It has agreed upon goals and objectives, especially in the realms of mission execution, customer service, production, and quality.

Being a Kingdom-minded organization does not in any way preclude prosperity. On the contrary, it aims to be prosperous for the benefit of its key stakeholders, leadership, owners, employees, and the organization’s community. They should—they must—strive to do great things, marrying their godly goals with the fruits of success, those of a job well done. By no means should they consider themselves as unable to participate in the results-driven culture of winning U.S. organizations.

Mission, Vision, And Values (MVV)

When mapping out the future of an organization that professes to strive to become high performing, management must create its mission, vision, and value statements (MVVs) or ignite existing ones by recreating them. Much has been written on what should comprise mission, vision, and value statements. I always suggest keeping them simple—simple concepts that all employees can remember and fully support. It’s difficult to fully commit to and “own” an organization’s ideals if they are so complicated, convoluted, or vague that the employees can’t remember them clearly.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Human Resources Perspective on Organizational Mission, Vision and Values


When I was asked to blog about forward-thinking human resources content to ABHE members, I knew I would have to start by constructing a solid foundation and build upon that. Having spent over 25 years in corporate America working alongside highly respected HR thought leaders at such organizations as Kodak, PepsiCo, and Merck Inc., I thought back to what makes certain organizations succeed while others fail.

Five years ago, I founded and now lead a growing HR consulting firm that supports organizations across the United States, organizations with one thing in common—they are Christian-based, whether for-profit companies or ministries and churches, and all possess essentially the same strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. No amount of technology or reengineering solves their issues. At the end of the day, it is the people within those organizations who make the difference.

What singles out certain organizations is the ability of their leadership to align their people effort to a collective MVV—mission, vision and values. Without this foundation, organizations flounder and employees lack direction. Without identified and established MVVs, HR leaders are unable to align their HR programs to achieve high performance. I have witnessed firsthand what happens when organizations lack this essential organizational mantra. What’s tragic is that establishing a company’s MVV is not only basic but quite simple to do. It requires nothing more than to identify why you do what you do and how you want to do it.

In the coming posts, I will guide you through the necessary steps to identify your core beliefs and goals, your MVV. Then we will explore how to skillfully integrate this MVV into your HR process to ensure you deliver on your mission, achieve your vision, and work within the values you establish. I will also define for you a term we use: “Kingdom-minded organization.” In my experience, the use of this Christian-oriented term illuminates how your organization will present its MVV differently to those of secular organizations.

Once you spend some time reflecting on what is meaningful to you and your organization, you will have taken the first steps on our journey together to create a Kingdom-minded organization of like-minded individuals working together to achieve high performance.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.