We Need to All Get on the Same Page!

Stephen Kurtzahn
October 7, 2022

Your company’s marketing department seems out of touch with the needs of your sales representatives in the field. The accountants in the finance area are severely limiting the resources your planners and engineers expect in order to develop the products that can solve your customers’ specific challenges. Every division, every department, every officer, every manager, every supervisor—everyone—seems to be doing their own thing. As a result, your company is not reaching its full potential—employees are dissatisfied and your customers and clients are starting to look elsewhere so their needs can be met. More than one person in your company has said in frustration at a meeting, “We need to all get on the same page!”  

So how can your organization’s management and employees get on the same page so you’re all aiming for a common goal and you’re all working to fulfill a unified purpose? A good place to start is by developing a mission statement. Although some may consider it old-school, any company, any organization, any office, can benefit from a mission statement. It doesn’t matter if your group consists of thousands of employees or just a few. A mission statement can provide direction and help get everyone on the same page!

It needs to be said, though, that the real benefit comes from everyone in the group being personally involved in the process of developing your mission statement. If upper management puts a paragraph together for a company mission statement and just passes it down to the employees, the paper it’s written on will probably end up in the trashcan and the email will more than likely be deleted.

So what’s a mission statement? How is it different from a vision statement? Let’s take a closer look at both of these organizational tools. They both serve their own special purposes—

Mission Statement

A mission statement should only be a few sentences long. The shorter and more concise it is, the better. A mission statement reveals the heart and soul of the organization (or group, or company, or office). It shares the company’s core values and purpose for existence. A mission statement tells what the organization does, how it does it and why it does it.

Vision Statement

A vision statement presents the company’s hopes and dreams for the future. It describes the goals and ambitions of the organization. Again, the shorter and more concise it is, the better.

Developing Your Group’s Own Mission Statement

There’s a simple 5 step process to develop a mission statement. Let’s say it again—EVERYONE in your organization needs to be involved in this process so they feel it’s their own.  Here are the 5 steps—

1)      Ask yourself 4 basic questions

a.       What do we do?

b.       How do we do it?

c.       Why do we do it?

d.       For whom do we do it?


2)      Brainstorm


3)      Narrow down your choices. In larger groups, this can easily be done by voting


4)      Convert key words into complete sentences


5)      Review and finalize

What Next?

Once you’ve completed your mission statement, finalize its wording and make sure everyone is on board with what it says. What do you then do with it? Where do you put it?

Companies have placed their mission statements on decorative signage in their hallways, offices, and reception areas. Mission statements can be printed on company stationery, included in email signatures, and be part of every PowerPoint presentation and written report. Some place their mission statements on their employees’ computer screensavers. You could probably think of several other places where you could place a mission statement.

Examples of Effective Mission Statements

Here are 3 mission statements for some well-known companies—

Patagonia – “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” You may recall how the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, recently placed his company in a non-profit trust. Patagonia’s annual profits will now be used in combatting climate change and protecting undeveloped land the world over.   

Spotify – “Give people access to all the music they want all the time—in a completely legal and accessible way.” Spotify is the popular Swedish music and media streaming service.

Google – “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google is the go-to Internet search engine that almost everyone uses.

So what does your mission statement say?

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