What’s Your Organization’s Mission

 

Generally to define an organization’s mission you start with lofty platitudes, you scan the globe for words, and your head’s in the clouds looking for some cosmic intervention to help you create the best, most memorable statement.

I suggest that to define an organizational mission, there is only one starting point. It is the customer. The customer defines the business. The customer pays the bills. It’s really that simple.

To write the statement, here are some questions to consider:

  1. Who is our customer? What does she look like? Picture her in your mind’s eye. Develop a story about her. Get to know her. If you have data, who are your most profitable customers? Who are they and what do they look like?
  2. Where is the customer? Are they home using on-line to find you? Are they visiting your location? Where do they live? How far must they travel and will they travel that far to find you and what you have to offer?
  3. What does the customer want? This can be the hardest one of all. This means you’ll actually need to talk to customers – and they may tell you some things that you don’t want to hear.
  4. What is value to the customer? What is important on their list of things? Where are you giving value, and conversely, where you are not giving value? Do you take the customer 90% of the way and then disappoint them? What do they want?

For years, McDonalds has focused on some key customer values, but sales are down and so they are trying some new things. Where we live several McDonalds restaurants are trying couches and wireless. Does the frazzled parent looking for a consistent quick meal in a clean restaurant want a couch and wireless? Changing a mission and focus is a tricky game. Make sure, if you need to start from scratch, or change mid-stream that you have talked to customers. More importantly, listen to your customers and let them tell you what will capture their heart.

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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