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Mission Statements

Mission Statements: define the primary work of a leisure service organization. Mission statements are direct, pragmatic and focused towards the types of services to be provided and their associated potential benefits.

Primary elements in a mission statement

- short and direct statements focused on the work and aspirations of an organization.

- focuses on specific types of services, markets, and benefits to be produced by the organization.

- reflects a focus on quality or standards of excellence that influence the way services are delivered.

- reflects organizational values that provide overall direction to the organization.

- difficult to measure and quantify because they are written in broad general terms.

The mission statement should be a clear and succinct representation of the business's purpose. It should include socially meaningful and measurable criteria addressing moral/ethical principles, public image, target market, types of products/services, geographic area, expectations of growth and profitability, concepts.

The purpose of the Mission Statement should be as a guideline and the first consideration for any employee evaluating a strategic decision. The statement can range from a very simple to complex set of ideas.

How Specific Should A Mission Statement Be?

A Mission Statement should represent the broadest perspective of the enterprise's mission.

For example, a very specific mission statement for a fictitious airline could be:

Airco, Inc. will be the 'guaranteed' on-time airline. Maintaining the most efficient equipment in the industry, we will target a customer base of mainly young businessmen and offer them the lowest cost service on the west coast, with an objective of a 20% profit before tax and a 30% per year revenue growth.

Or, a more general way of stating Airco's Mission Statement could be:

Airco, Inc. will be recognized as the most progressive enterprise in the transportation business. We will offer our customers cost effective transportation service within geographical areas and market segments that can benefit from our services and will insure a return on investment and growth rate consistent with current management guidelines.

Mission Statements of Well Known Enterprises

The following are some examples of mission statements from real companies.
"To solve unsolved problems innovatively"

Mary Kay Cosmetics
"To give unlimited opportunity to women."

"To preserve and improve human life."

"To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people."

Walt Disney
"To make people happy."

For example, Merck, a company that produces pharmaceutical products and provides insurance for pharmacy benefits, publicly states the following values.
bulletCorporate social responsibility
bulletUnequivocal excellence in all aspects of the company
bulletScience-based innovation
bulletHonesty & integrity
bulletProfit, but profit from work that benefits humanity

And Walt Disney, an entertainment business states their values as follows.
bulletNo cynicism
bulletNurturing and promulgation of "wholesome American values"
bulletCreativity, dreams and imagination
bulletFanatical attention to consistency and detail
bulletPreservation and control of the Disney "magic"

Should Your Grasp Exceed Your Reach?
Many believe that the Mission Statement should have a broad scale, be socially meaningful and be measurable. The following are some examples of historical Mission Statements that were truly grand in scale.

Ford Motor Company (early 1900's)
"Ford will democratize the automobile"

Sony (early 1950's)
"Become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products"

Boeing (1950)
"Become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age"

Wal-Mart (1990)
"Become a $125 billion company by the year 2000"

So, when you are preparing your Mission Statement remember to make it clear and succinct, incorporating socially meaningful and measurable criteria and consider approaching it from a grand scale. As you create your Mission Statement consider including some or all of the following concepts.
bulletThe moral/ethical position of the enterprise
bulletThe desired public image
bulletThe key strategic influence for the business
bulletA description of the target market
bulletA description of the products/services
bulletThe geographic domain
bulletExpectations of growth and profitability

Source: Center for Business Planning (nd) Retrieved on September 7, 2--6 from http://www.businessplans.org/Mission.html

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