In the last post, I described how our company just began our Strategic Ministry Planning process. Using the C12 Group material from their Strategic Plan for Ministry seminar, I will take you through the 5 Step process to make this happen in your company. We will begin with the mission statement in this post and cover the next steps in future posts.
The first step in this process is crafting the mission statement. While the vast majority of large companies and corporations today have mission statements, the number of those statements that effectively achieve the true purpose of a mission statement is likely small.
Does This Describe Your Company?
Too many companies hire a consultant, take a couple of hours batting ideas around in a conference room, and come up with a nicely word-smithed sentence or two, using the latest industry buzz-words. Then they proudly print this statement on a poster or plaque and hang it in the lobby to impress customers.
If this describes your company, I apologize if it sounds harsh. I do not mean it that way. However, do you really think this type of mission statement is effective at guiding the company? How many employees use this type of statement on a daily basis to make decisions? How many even know what the mission statement is or why it is important? Right now is the time to change it!
If your company is different and is effectively using the mission statement, then congratulations! Consider your company among the best! If your company does not even have a mission statement, then now is the time to create one!
Some experts will tell you that your entire team has to come up with the mission statement. Others will say the number of participants is not important. You really have to figure this out on your own.
As for our company, I enlisted our leadership team made up of four key managers plus myself for the project. I brought my vision for the company in a couple of rough drafts and we went from there. Our final product effectively captured my vision, but was an improvement over my drafts.
The C12 material says this about mission statements:
They capture the organization’s purpose or fundamental reason for existing, stated in a way that resonates with both employees and customers.
5 Characteristics of an Effective Mission Statement:
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Short and easy to memorize[/typography] – A mission statement needs to completely capture the essence of the company, but it cannot be so long that employees cannot remember it or explain it easily. This one is from POS Insurance Company…
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Serving Him by serving you.[/typography]
If you expect it to be used as it should be, your company’s mission statement should be one carefully crafted sentence. The max should be two sentences. It should be easy to remember for every employee.
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Decision-making tool[/typography]– It should be able to be used effectively as a plumb line for making decisions on a day to day basis. Consider the mission statement of the Newport News Shipyard…
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]We build good ships here, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must,
but always good ships.[/typography]
Clearly, this one can be used by employees to make decisions in every area of the business.
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Inspirational[/typography] – The mission statement should capture the heart and soul of your company. It should excite employees toward action in the direction it describes. Here is the C12 mission statement…
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]To change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace
through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.[/typography]
As this one does, it should reflect your company’s commitment and values. If it does not inspire you, who will it inspire?
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Sense of ministry[/typography] – This is obviously a characteristic that will not be true for all companies – only those committed to business as ministry. For these types of companies, the mission statement should reflect the call of the leader to Christ-centered ministry and inspire others to join in. Look at this one from the Martin Newby Management Corp….
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Sharing the love of Christ while providing unique management services for the manufactured housing industry.[/typography]
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Timeless[/typography] – Rather than changing with technology and markets, an effective mission statement should be timeless. It should endure the fads that come and go, providing guidance over the long term. I like this one from Pruett Builders…
[typography size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222″]Sharing the love of Christ while building homes and relationships with excellence.[/typography]
Combining your company’s core purpose and values into an integrated and memorable mission statement is as challenging as it is important! An effective and often-used mission statement can inspire and direct team members to a worthy goal, while its absence leads nowhere.
Do you have an effective mission statement?
If so, are you maximizing its impact in your company?
If the answer is no to either question, are you ready to start?