Whereas the chief concern of a strategic vision is with “where we are going and why”, a company’s mission statement usually deals with a company’s present business scope and purpose –“who we are, what we do, and why we are here.”
A company’s mission is defined by the buyer needs it seeks to satisfy, the customer groups and market segments it is endeavoring to serve, and the resources and technologies that it is deploying in trying to please its customers. Many companies prefer the term business purpose to mission statement, but the two phrases are essentially conceptually identical and are used interchangeably. Company mission statements almost never say anything about where the company is headed, the anticipated changes in its business, or its aspirations.
Occasionally, companies couch their mission in terms of making a profit. The notion that a company’s mission or business purpose is to make a profit is misguided – profit is more correctly an objective and a result of what a company does. If a company’s mission statement is to have any managerial value or reveal anything useful about its business, it must direct attention to the particular market arena in which it operates – the buyer needs it seeks to satisfy, the customer groups and market segments it is endeavoring to serve, and the types of resources and technologies that it is deploying in trying to please customers.
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