Mission statement

A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation.[1][2] It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the "vision".[1][3]

A mission is not simply a description of an organization by an external party, but an expression, made by its leaders, of their desires and intent for the organization. The purpose of a mission statement is to communicate the organisation's purpose and direction to its employees, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. A mission statement also creates a sense of identity for its employees. Organizations normally do not change their mission statements over time, since they define their continuous, ongoing purpose and focus.[4]

According to Chris Bart, professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University,[5] a commercial mission statement consists of three essential components:[6][failed verification]

  1. Key market: the target audience
  2. Contribution: the product or service
  3. Distinction: what makes the product unique or why the audience should buy it over another

Bart estimates that in practice, only about ten percent of mission statements say something meaningful.[5] For this reason, they are widely regarded with contempt.[6]