Monday, July 25, 2005

Match the Mission Statement

I have volunteered to be the team leader for writing the business plan over at The Business Experiment. The business hasn't been selected - it is being voted on over the next week - but I am getting things set up to get the plan written once the business is selected.

One question that came in on the forum today was if a "mission statement" is included in a business plan. I think this term needs to be defined before an answer can be given.

The "goal" of a business is definitely included in a business plan. The plan states the product or service, the revenue it will generate, the profits will it return, and how the enterprise is going to do this. This is what a business plan is all about: telling investors what your goal is and how you're going to achieve it.

But "mission statement" usually refers to the generic-sounding, warm-and-fuzzy statements that HR departments put into customer conference rooms. 90% of the ones I have seen are worthless, although that leaves a few out there are pretty good. But those 90% have given Mission Statements such a bad reputation that there is a random mission statement generator that puts out stuff that is as good as anything out there.

But I thought I would look into this a little further and check into some mission statements of some large, well-known companies to see if bigger meant better. After all, a large, well-known company should have a mission statement that should be easy to identify, even if you didn't have the company name in front of you. So here they are, with anything taken out that would identify the specific industry. See if you can match them up. Answers in the comments section:

Companies in Alphabetical Order: Apple, Dell, Ford, GE, Honda, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic/Matsushita

1. We continuously strive for synergy between technology, systems, and human resources to provide products and services that meet the quality, performance and price aspirations of our customers.

2. Do a great job for our customers, employees, and stockholders by being the preeminent building block supplier to the worldwide digital economy

3. This company flatly states they have no mission statement.

4. Be the most successful xyz company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve.

5. To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential

6. We will democratize (our product)

7. Produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual. We are proving that high technology does not have to be intimidating to non-experts.

8. We strive for the creation of new values, by pursuing user-friendliness and accomplishing a high-tech mindset, driven by challenging spirits and full speed of actions.

9. To be the best service organization in the world

10. To grow by continually providing useful and significant products, services and solutions to markets we already serve — and to expand into new areas that build on our technologies, competencies and customer interests.

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