The overall planning process begins with a mission statement and strategic goalsOpens in new window for the organization as a whole. At the top of the goal hierarchy is the mission — the organization’s reason for existence.
Mission statement is a broadly stated definition of the organization’s basic business scope and operations that distinguishes it from similar types of organizations.
The mission statement describes the organization’s values, aspirations and reason for being. A well-defined mission is the basis for develop ment of all subsequent goals and plans.
Without a clear mission, goals and plans may be developed haphazardly and not take the organization in the direction it needs to go. One of the defining attributes of successful organizations is that they have a clear mission that guides decisions and actions.
The purpose of Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH)Opens in new window is to “provide children and young people with the best possible family-centered health care”. Through its opening years, this credo has guided decision making for executives, managers and front-line staff who all have to make difficult decisions allocating the limited resources available to the hospital.
One of the best examples of how the organization’s mission manifests in operations is to look at how the staff (nurses, doctors and support staff) approach their day-to-day work.
The QCH’s emergency department can be exceptionally busy, with tensions typically running high for parents waiting for their children to be treated. Despite long shifts and the relentless stream of children in need of attention, the staff diligently provide a friendly smile and a fun approach to consultation and treatment to ensure children feel less anxious and parents feel more informed about what is happening.
Treatment is focused on the patient but includes the family, aligning with the mission of the organization. When management actions and decisions go against the mission, organizations may get into trouble.
By one estimate, more than half of all organizations in Australia now have a formal mission statement of some kind.
As earlier stated, the formal mission statement is a broadly stated definition of basic business scope and operations that distinguishes the organization from others of a similar type.
The content of a mission statement often focuses on the market and customers, and identifies desired fields of endeavor.
Some mission statements describe organizational characteristics such as corporate values, product quality, location of facilities and attitude towards employees.
Mission statements are often short and straightforward, describing basic business activities and purposes as well as the values that guide the organization.
Some companies have developed statements of values, company charters and principles statements, either in addition to or instead of mission statements.
These are also attempts to provide guidance to employees and signals of purpose to other stakeholders. An example from Tata Group is shown below.
At the Tata group we are committed to improving the quality of life of the communities we serve. We do this by striving for leadership and global competitiveness in the business sectors in which we operate.
Our practice of returning to society what we earn evokes trust among consumers, employees, shareholders and the community. We are committed to protecting this heritage of leadership with trust through the manner in which we conduct our business.
Tata has always been values-driven. These values continue to direct the growth and business of Tata companies. The five core Tata values underpinning the way we do business are:
To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust.
- Research data for this work have been adapted from the manual:
- Principles of Fire and Emergency Services Administration Includes Navigate ... By Randy R Bruegman.