CORPORATE MISSION: 4 steps to set it

CORPORATE MISSION: 4 steps to set it

The corporate mission definition is at the heart of your communication and business decisions. However, it might result very difficult and tricky to develop. Top managers often ignore this crucial step, because they are lacking of time, resources and… motivation.
Defining a corporate mission: an effective mobilisation tool

A well-defined corporate mission is an effective tool to guide corporate daily decisions and to follow a coherent strategy. It allows you to stay focus! If well-developed, your mission will work as a genuine motivation trigger for your team and employees enthusiasm. It is certainly a powerful way to build and strengthen the corporate cultural heritage.

We have analysed and compared the best examples of corporate missions to provide you with the four basic steps to develop it:
1. SHORT STATEMENT
One or two sentences are enough: the mission must be easy to remember and engage the team.
An example from Airbnb: “to help creating a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live a place, instead of just travelling to it.”
2. BE AMBITIOUS
Do not describe what you do – e.g. producing printed circuit – but the reason why you do it. The Microsoft mission statement development perfectly illustrates this. They went from “A computer is on every desk and in every home” to “to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential”.
3. HIGHLIGHT YOUR DIFFERENCE
Do not try to develop your mission to include any potential customer – you cannot suit everyone. The real question is “what is the added-value of your offer?”. Concentrate on your difference and promote it. Nike is the best example for it: “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
4. SIMPLE IS GOOD
Avoid jargon and technical expressions from your own sector. Be direct, fair and clear to everyone. Remember the reason why you started your business, or you have chosen to join it. As Tripadvisor: “To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.”
Furthermore, here at double-id we defined our mission as: “To deliver top-class, persuasive communication solutions to businesses and associations, with hard-hitting content and high-impact designs”.

How do you write your corporate mission?
Drafting the mission takes time and requires the approval of the stakeholders. During the 60s and the 70s, the mission was merely drafted and imposed by the Top Management and it was mainly used as a strategic tool towards shareholders.
Nowadays, it is different. From small startups to large enterprises, from institutions to small associations, any organisation can write its mission in the interests of all stakeholders: customers, employees, financial partners and suppliers.
In practice, the Top Management would propose a text to the employees, who then give their opinions. Obviously, the goal is to get the support of everyone.
In general, the text should be consistent with the product and service you offer and it should contain general and durable terms to act as a permanent marker during the time changes. It usually begins with an infinitive: “to offering; to propose, to serve”.

Mission as higher ideal
Some companies introduce a moral aim or cause in their mission, such as Body Shop: “To operate our business with a strong commitment to the well being of our fellow humans and the preservation of the planet.”

And you, what is your corporate mission? How does it influence your company’s reputation? Tell us your experience.

Séverine Duprat is the co-founder and General Manager of double-id communication agency. She's specialised in corporate communication, inbound marketing and content strategy and loves particularly intercultural communication.

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