1) Viewed broadly, the mission statement answers the question what is our business? Whereas the vision statement answers the questions what do we want to become.
2) It defines the business that the company wants to be in and serves as its guiding principle.
3) It differentiates the company from its competitors
4) It is relevant to all stakeholders. All of them are supposed to take direction and marching orders from it.
5) It is exciting and inspiring. It adds zeal to the firm and its people.
6) It is not time bound and cannot be easily achieved within a fixed time frame.
7) It represents the whole thrust of the firm and its core values and beliefs.
Dynamic: The concept of mission is dynamic and not a static one. It must strike a happy balance between the narrow and broad ways of doing things in the years ahead; between the present requirements and future expectations. It is worth remembering that the future of a business is usually determined by the way it defines its business today. For a painfully long time, people in the film industry thought that they were in the movie business and not in the entertainment business had they defined their mission in a broad way i.e. Entertainment of customers they would have certainly visualized the threat from video business and initiated appropriate remedial measures. Thus, where the mission statement is defined in a narrow way, new opportunities and threats from competitive businesses may be lost sight of. On the other hand where the mission is defined in a broad and general way, the exercise might prove to be self defeating. The business might not be able to concentrate on some specific areas where it has some competitive edge over others. The General Electric Corporation of the United States declared two decades back. We are in the energy business, although the company was primarily engaged in manufacturing and selling electrical goods.
As a matter of caution it must be mentioned here that mission statements need not be revised every few years in response to every new turn in the economy. A company must redefine its mission only if that mission has lost credibility or no longer offers an optimal path for the company.
Examples of Mission Statements>>>
A good mission statement describes an organization’s purpose, customers, products or services markets, philosophy and basic technology. According to Vern McGinnis a mission statement should (1) define what the organization is and what the organization aspires to be (2) be limited enough to exclude some ventures and broad enough to allow for creative growth, (3) distinguish a given organization from all others (4) serve as a frame work for evaluating both current and prospective activities, and (5) be stated in terms sufficiently clear and be widely understood throughout the organization.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL): To achieve and maintain leading position as suppliers of quality equipment, systems and service to serve the national and international market in the field of energy. The areas of interest would be the conversion, transmission, utilization and conservation of energy for applicants in the power, industrial and transportation fields, to strive for technological excellence and market leadership in these areas.
Oil and natural Gas Commission (ONGC): To stimulate, continue and accelerate efforts to develop and maximize the contribution of the energy sector to the economy of the country.
Cadbury India: To attain leadership position in the confectionery market and achieve a strong national presence in the food and drinks sector.
Ranbaxy Laboratories: To become a research based international pharmaceutical company.
Source: Strategic Management