Value/Mission Statements & Examples

Journey

June 23, 2024

5

min read

Strategic planning helps businesses make the most of scarce resources and fully harness the power of time. 

If you think about where your business needs to be two years down the line, you get clarity on how to prioritize problems that need solving and challenges that need to be overcome. It also becomes easier to objectively allocate resources when you have a broader, long-term vision and plan and are able to rise above the day-to-day that often bogs us down. Additionally, you get a multi-year head-start to achieve a stated objective, which significantly increases the likelihood of CEO success

Strategic planning is the key to sustained success. But no strategy can make sense without a goal, which leads us to the value of vision and mission statements. 

Read on to learn the essentials of mission statements and how to nail your business’ mission statement. We’ll discuss common pitfalls to avoid and share company mission statement examples you can learn from. 

Differentiating Between Vision, Mission, and Value Statements

Mission Statement

A mission statement articulates the organization's core purpose and primary objectives. It focuses on what the organization does, who it serves, and how it serves them. It is present-oriented, providing a clear snapshot of the organization's operations and goals.

Vision Statement

A business vision statement describes the desired future state or long-term goals of the organization. 

Vision statements are future-oriented, offering a forward-looking perspective that inspires and guides the organization’s strategic planning.

Learn more about creating a differentiated value proposition here.

Value Statement

A value statement outlines the core principles and beliefs that guide the organization's behavior and decision-making processes, reflecting its organizational culture and ethical standards.

Unlike mission and vision statements, value statements are timeless, consistently relevant, and foundational to how the organization conducts itself in all circumstances.

Why Should CEOs Define Value and Mission Statements?

For CEOs, value and mission statements help maintain strategic focus, ensuring consistency and cohesion even in challenging times, which is critical for success. For the teams that CEOs lead, these statements provide clear purpose and direction, aligning organizational efforts towards common goals. 

Value and mission statements are critical, but unlocking their value is often difficult. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of your business, using your energy to fight fires as they come and always reacting to developments. 

CEO dashboards, which come as part of CEO software, can be useful in helping CEOs stay on course – ensuring that all of a company’s activities ultimately serve its mission. These dashboards provide tools that define your goals, outline an action plan, help you track progress with CEO KPIs, and help assess the relevance of current activities to your goals. 

Apply to join Journey’s CEO program to take advantage of CEO Software that helps you stay on track with a focus plan custom-built for your organization and mission. Book a free assessment of your company today. 

How Do Mission and Value Statements Contribute to a Company's Identity?

Company identity is the unique set of characteristics that define an organization, influencing its culture, operations, and public perception. 

Mission and value statements are crucial in shaping this identity by providing clear purpose, guiding principles, and consistent frameworks for behavior and decision-making. They differentiate the company from competitors, foster a cohesive culture, and build trust with stakeholders, ultimately creating a strong and recognizable company identity.

How to Write Effective Value and Mission Statements

The following tips will help you create the best value and mission statements. We’ve included some business mission statement examples for inspiration. 

Involve Key Stakeholders

Engage employees, customers, and other stakeholders in the process to ensure diverse perspectives and most importantly, buy-in. Mission and value statements that don’t resonate with team members and other stakeholders may even have a negative impact, instead of a positive one.

Keep It Clear and Concise

Use simple, direct language to articulate the organization's purpose and core values. Avoid jargon and overly complex wording. 

An example of this is Google’s mission statement, which is simple and clear: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Reflect the Organization’s Unique Identity

Ensure the statements capture what makes the organization unique, including its strengths, culture, and aspirations.

Focus on Inspiration and Action

Craft statements that inspire and motivate, while also being actionable and guiding everyday decisions and behaviors, which is part of what differentiates mission from vision statements.

Southwest Airlines’ mission statement not only inspires by emphasizing the importance of connections and reliability but also guides daily operations and decision-making by focusing on friendliness and affordability. 

It reads: “To connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.”

Align with Long-term Goals

Ensure the mission and values align with the organization's long-term vision and strategic objectives. A good example of this is Reddit’s mission statement: “To bring community and belonging to everyone in the world.” 

Be Authentic and Honest

Make sure the statements are genuine reflections of the organization's true purpose and values, not just aspirational or marketing fluff.

Review and Revise Regularly

Mission and value statements are not written in stone. And in fact, they can and should be periodically revisited and revised. It’s important for an organization to reflect and make sure these statements remain relevant and aligned with the evolving goals and values of the organization – and as goals and values do evolve, so can the mission or an organization’s core values.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing a Mission Statement

When writing a mission statement, it's essential to avoid common mistakes that can undermine its effectiveness. Here are the key pitfalls to watch out for:

Being Too Vague or Generic

Avoid using broad, uninspiring language that could apply to any organization.

Example: “We strive to provide excellent products and services.”

Be specific about what makes your organization unique and clearly define your purpose and objectives.

Using Overly Complex Language

You should avoid jargon, buzzwords, or complex terminology that can confuse or alienate readers and stakeholders.

Example: "We leverage cutting-edge technologies to deliver innovative solutions that revolutionize user experiences."

Use clear, straightforward language that everyone can understand.

Lack of Focus

Trying to cover too many aspects of the business in one statement can make it ineffective. If the world’s largest multinationals can boil down their mission statement into one sentence, then surely most businesses can do the same. 

Example: "We aim to be the best in customer service, innovation, sustainability, and employee satisfaction."

Focus on the core purpose and primary objectives of the organization.

Being Unrealistic or Overly Ambitious

Avoid making promises that are not achievable or realistic given the organization’s resources and context.

Example: “To eradicate poverty worldwide within the next five years.”

Set achievable and realistic goals that can inspire without overpromising.

Ignoring the Audience

Be careful not to write a mission statement that doesn’t resonate with or is irrelevant to the intended audience.

Example: "To maximize shareholder value through operational excellence and strategic market positioning."

Consider the perspectives and needs of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, and partners.

Lack of Inspiration

Avoid creating a mission statement that fails to motivate or inspire employees and stakeholders. 

Example: “To sell the highest quality products at the lowest possible price."

Craft a statement that is not only functional but also inspiring, highlighting the positive impact of the organization’s work.

Not Reflecting Core Values

Avoid writing a mission statement that doesn’t align with the organization’s actual core values and culture.

Example: A company that values innovation stating, "To maintain traditional methods and practices."

Likewise, ensure the mission statement is consistent with the organization’s values and cultural principles.

Being Too Long

A lengthy mission statement can lack impact and be difficult to remember. Keep your statement concise and memorable, ideally one to two sentences.

Lack of Employee Involvement

Developing the mission statement in isolation without input from employees can reduce the effectiveness of the statement in aligning the organization towards strategic objectives. 

Involve employees and other stakeholders in the process to ensure the statement resonates across the organization.

How To Stay On The Mission Despite Fluctuations

To ensure that the mission and vision outlined in the strategic plan can be achieved despite evolving market conditions and unforeseen challenges, businesses need to stay agile. 

Agility ensures the strategic plan remains effective and relevant. It also allows organizations to quickly adapt to changes, continuously improve processes, make responsive decisions, foster innovation, align stakeholders, manage risks, and maintain a customer-centric approach. 

A good CEO-centric consultant can be of great help in building ambitious but agile strategic plans. At Journey, we match CEOs with dedicated, private consultants who bring with them relevant industry experience as former partners from the world's top-consulting firms. We pair their expertise with CEO Software that provides a unified dashboard that integrates data from multiple sources to give a reliable picture of the company’s performance. By doing so, we enable CEOs and company leaders to develop the most sophisticated and effective strategic plans and to track their execution on these plans. Without the ability to understand how the company is executing in real-time, which Journey’s platform allows you to do, it’s nearly impossible to be agile and adaptive in a timely fashion.

When facing circumstances you need to react to, the dashboard allows you to conveniently assess the impact of potential interventions. This helps you implement interventions while staying on track in terms of the broad strategic plan. 

Work with a professional Journey partner today and get access to a platform that helps you stay on track when executing on your strategic plan. Explore Journey’s affordable tier 1 consulting services. 

Get Inspired: Great Business Mission Statement Examples From Different Industries 

Your business vision statement and mission statement need to be unique. But you can learn from excellently-crafted statements from other companies. Below are company mission statement examples to draw inspiration from. 

Healthcare: Mayo Clinic

Mission Statement: "To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education, and research."

Education: Khan Academy

Mission Statement: "To provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere."

Transportation: Uber

Mission Statement: “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.”

Hospitality: Marriott International

Mission Statement: "To enhance the lives of our customers by creating and enabling unsurpassed vacation and leisure experiences."

Consumer Goods: Unilever

Mission Statement: “To make sustainable living commonplace.” 

Media and Publishing: New York Times

Mission Statement: "To seek the truth and help people understand the world."

Real Estate: Zillow

Mission Statement: "To give people the power to unlock life’s next chapter."

Agriculture: John Deere

Mission Statement: "To provide products and services that support those linked to the land."

Telecommunications: AT&T

Mission Statement: “To inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Value and Mission Statements

  1. How Often Should Mission and Value Statements Be Reviewed?

Mission and value statements should be reviewed every few years, to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with the organization’s evolving goals and values.

  1. Can A Mission Statement Change Over Time?

A mission statement can evolve as the organization grows and its objectives shift. Regular reviews help keep it aligned with current goals and market conditions.

  1. What Is the Main Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement?

A mission statement focuses on the organization’s current purpose and objectives, while a vision statement describes its long-term aspirations and desired future state.

  1. Who Should Be Involved in Creating Mission and Value Statements?

Key stakeholders including executives, employees, customers, and partners should be involved to ensure diverse perspectives and broad support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

plus icon

plus icon

plus icon

plus icon

plus icon

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

plus icon

In a rapidly changing market, how often should a business reassess its value proposition to stay relevant? In a rapidly changing market, how often should a business reassess its value proposition to stay relevant?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

plus icon

How can storytelling enhance a value proposition and engage customers? How can storytelling enhance a value proposition and engage customers? How can storytelling enhance a value proposition and engage customers? How can storytelling enhance a value proposition and engage customers?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

plus icon

Can you provide examples of successful companies that have effectively differentiated their value propositions using AI? Can you provide examples of successful companies that have effectively differentiated their value propositions using AI?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

plus icon

How does differentiation give a business a competitive edge? How does differentiation give a business a competitive edge? How does differentiation give a business a competitive edge?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

plus icon

A value proposition is a concise statement that communicates the benefits a customer will gain from a product or service. It's vital for businesses as it defines their unique position in the market and helps attract and retain customers.